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T-Minus One: Facebook’s Announcement Tomorrow

With all the big announcements coming out today, I’m sure your head’s already spinning—but be sure to keep your eyes open for tomorrow’s Facebook announcement! Amid all the other buzz today, there are plenty of rumors flying about what Facebook’s big secret will be.

According to TechCrunch last week, at least part of the announcement will be “Project Beacon“: an effort to better integrate Facebook profiles with nonFacebook websites. In Michael Arrington’s example, a Facebook user purchases a product (like a book) from a partner site (Amazon, in this example). The purchase appears as a popup in a user’s mini-feed—which, like other items in their feed, they’ll be able to delete and turn off.

Ad:Tech Announcements: MySpace Ad Network

There are a lot of announcements expected at today’s start of Ad:Tech, so let’s kick off with MySpace.

The company is not content to live off the ad revenue it gets from its partnership with Google so is launching "SelfServe by MySpace"–an advertising network for display (banner) ads.

TechCrunch has the details…

The new tool will enable users to select from a number of ad targeting factors such as geographic, demographic, and various user interest categories. The service will be ready for use by early 2008. The minimum advertisement purchase size is $10; pricing will be based on a click to the advertiser’s profile and will be auction based once it gets going (to start things off, MySpace will charge a fixed CPC based on the category).

Yahoo Launches Kickstart – LinkedIn for College Students & Alumni

Yahoo’s hoping to fill a social networking void with its "preview" launch of Kickstart.

What’s the void?

That big gaping hole between Facebook and LinkedIn. Yahoo wants Kickstart to be a professional network that connects college students, recent graduates, and alumni for business networking and career advancement.

Realizing that Facebook might be a tad too whimsical for that purpose–sheep throwing anyone?–and LinkedIn a too vast–can you introduce me to that person you met once at a conference–Yahoo hopes Kickstart will be useful for anyone hoping to capitalize from their college association.

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Kickstart allows you to create a professional profile, browse company profiles and network with your peers, professors, alumni and potential employers. If networking is the best way to launch a career, then Kickstart is the best way to start building your network – by leveraging what you have in common with the people you need to get to know.

OpenSocial: Future for Facebook, Concerns

OpenSocial, Google’s social networking platform standardization initiative, seems to have usurped Facebook’s usual share of media attention since the announcement on Wednesday—and with Facebook’s impending ad announcement, that’s a pretty remarkable feat.

But now at least one Facebook investor seems to see the right way to get all that lovely attention back: start talking about joining up with OpenSocial. CNET’s Caroline McCarthy reports that Facebook investor and board member Jim Breyer of Accel Partners is saying that a future collaboration is a possibility.

“Jim said that the company isn’t philosophically opposed to what Google is trying to do, and that its business model isn’t dependent on keeping its social network gated,” Kafka wrote in the Alley Insider post. “He also acknowledged that users will want to be able to port their data, networks, connections, etc., from Facebook to other networks, and vice versa, and suggested that something like that may be possible within a year.”

MySpace Joins Google’s OpenSocial

Yesterday, Google announced its OpenSocial program to create a standardized APIs for social network platform developers. While their list of participating networks was lengthy, notably absent were the social networking giants—MySpace and Facebook.

Until today. MySpace and Google announced that the largest social network in the world will be joining the developing initiative by the largest search engine in the world. Google has said that over the past year, they’ve been secretly working on with MySpace to include them in the OpenSocial.

MySpace will not make an effort to create its own markup language (as Facebook has already done). Flixster has already created a MySpace application using the OpenSocial API standards (screenshots at TechCrunch).

Zombie Biting & Sheep Throwing Coming to LinkedIn?

image Caroline McCarthy takes a closer look at Google’s plans to bring a standard set of APIs to social networks via OpenSocial.

While there are a lot of benefits to developers–they get a single API standard to work with–the social networks themselves have reason to be cautious. In particular, sites like LinkedIn and Plaxo are more business-focused and the last thing they need is any zombie-biting, sheep-throwing applications cluttering up their network.

Adam Nash, LinkedIn’s senior director of product, emphasized that Google is allowing participating social networks to decide just how open they want their OpenSocial platforms to be. "(OpenSocial) doesn’t change the fact that we truly have no interest in zombie biting and food fights on LinkedIn," he emphasized. "In order to be in the LinkedIn directory, we will have some set of standards."

Tips to Marketing on Facebook

MarketingSherpa just ran a great article on how to market yourself or business on Facebook. As they point out the approach to marketing in a social community takes a little different approach than marketing in other contexts. Offending the community means you won’t be trusted.

It goes like this. Imagine going to church and thinking that there are a lot of people in your potential market there. So you decide to make an announcement about a big sale at your store. Everyone feels uncomfortable. It’s happened to me and it was in bad taste.

Facebook is a community of 46 million members, it’s growing by 3% a week since January, especially with the 25 and older demographic. I’ve noticed more and more friends joining in the past few weeks.