#social

Ellis Hamburger:

But after just a few years, sharing on Facebook feels like walking up to a group of parents, teachers, friends, cousins, camp counselors, classmates, and colleagues, and boasting about my latest accomplishment, or about the merits of the brunch I just ate. “People treat posting on Facebook like it’s public,” says danah boyd, a sociology researcher who interviewed over 150 teens for her recent book on social media. If Facebook wants its News Feed to remain the source of news about friends, family, and other people we care about it, it needs to change its definition of friendship.

Lots of good points. While Facebook is doing a lot to ensure the company doesn’t get disrupted from the outside (read: Instagram, WhatsApp, and to some extent, even Oculus), inside, the network is definitely starting to have the feel of social rot.

Relationships change over time. And Facebook has now been around long enough to be exposed to this. This is problematic if they do want to maintain the lead as the “social network”. But maybe they don’t. Maybe that network was just the start.

Keep It Secret, Keep It Safe

I’ve written before about the importance of “the first app you open in the morning”. But the truth is that there are about a half dozen apps that I check each and every morning. The first, currently Twitter, is the most important to me. But the other in that gang of six, all have the potential to displace the first one depending on the day.

I knew Secret was on to something special when it entered this gang of six.

Of course, I am but one person. The more telling sign that Secret was on to something was the fact that basically every person I talk to who has used the app has said or implied the same thing: the app is a must-check, and it’s incredibly sticky. And that includes people who say they hate Secret, by the way. I have this sneaking suspicion that those who “hate” the app, check it even more often than those who claim to love it.

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The Age Of The Social Network Is Ending

For his story about Secret, a Google Ventures porfolio company that launched today, Mike Isaac asked me the following question:

Just basically curious as to why you’re interested in Secret — why this after we have so many “social” apps — how different, etc.

This seems to be a common question both amongst journalists and investors. And it’s certainly a fair one. If there is indeed an “App Wall”, many of us hit it long ago. But it seems to me that things are shifting once again.

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Albumatic, At Last

Everyone now has a camera in their pocket at all times. That camera is connected to the internet at all times. That camera is capable of being utilized by hundreds of thousands of apps. Those apps all have social graphs that allow you to connect with other internet-connected camera-carrying friends. It’s almost inexplicable that there isn’t a killer social photo album service yet.

And yet, despite many (many, many, many, many) failed attempts, there isn’t. So perhaps I’ll sound foolish thinking that Albumatic is going to be the one. But I’ll be damned if it doesn’t feel like it is.

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Steve O’hear for TechCrunch:

When your product idea turns into a meme, you’re probably doing something right. I’m referring, of course, to Bang With Friends. It’s the controversial Facebook app that lets you privately nominate those in your Friends network you want to hook up with and alerts you if they feel the same way. This in turn gave rise to Bang With Professionals, a site that takes the same concept and applies it to LinkedIn.

And, not to be er, left out in the cold, today sees Google+ get the Bang With Friends treatment with the appropriately named Bang With Nobody.

Well played.

Anonymous asked:

The engagement level for both your FB and G+ posts are the similar.. (Similar number of likes and comments.) However what does not make sense is you have 265K subscribers in FB and 1.5M in G+. 6 times the followers in G+ but the same level of engagement !! I can think of only 2 explanations.. Huge Fake/Spam followers and a poor G+ engagement. !! ~ Arun

Right. And also the fact that very few people relative to Twitter and Facebook actually click through on links to read the content being shared. There’s some lightweight social activity basically masking a network that isn’t there.

I’m going to break my rule of not linking to The Wall Street Journal because it’s 2013 and I’m in the forgiving mood. Also, because I find this story by Amir Efrati sort of fascinating.

The article really doesn’t say much, but what I find interesting is how far it goes out of its way not to plainly state the obvious: Google+ is a turd.

I’m not sure why everyone seems afraid to admit this. I think it’s similar to the reason why some seem reluctant to call Windows 8 a turd when it’s already abundantly clear: people are scared that such a bold statement could come back to bite them in the ass. But it won’t. Both are clearly turds.

Google continues to try to cram Google+ down people’s throats, but it just won’t stay down. People are gonna keep puking it right back up. The only compelling feature of Google+ is Hangouts; everything else is a carbon copy of some social activity that people can (and already do) do elsewhere. Google simply made a bad call and started chasing the wrong thing (social) far too late.

If you talk to a number of people inside Google and even those formerly inside the Google+ team, you get the same refrain: it’s just not working. I have over 1.5 million followers and actively share the same posts to Google+ that I share on Twitter and Facebook and even though I have a tiny fraction of the following on those networks, the engagement is night and day.

I wonder how long it will take Google to admit defeat here? I’m sure we’ll see a lot more of the shoving of Google+ in our faces first — Chrome, you’re next. But I really wish Google would take all the energy being put behind this dog and use it to blow out their truly interesting and innovative products, like Google Now.

shortformblog
shortformblog:

Facebook’s Snapchat competitor is called “Poke,” confirming what we already knew: The word “Poke” is innuendo for sexy time.

Fascinating just how close to Snapchat it actually is. 

There’s no question that the UI/UX is better here, but I’m not sure how much that will actually matter with the teenage Snapchat demographic. Many teens seem to use apps that look and may even perform awful, but it doesn’t matter. All that matters is the graph — that their friends are using it. 

And you might think, “but everyone is on Facebook” — sure, but that also doesn’t matter if the use case is different. Maybe teens are using Snapchat specifically because it’s not Facebook. 

Anyway, I’m not going to pretend to really understand Snapchat anyway. Compelling social, fun idea (the self-destructing message) — but high potential to be faddish. But I’m sure I’m missing something. 

I’m more interested here in Facebook’s continued march to make stand-alone apps. This seems like it should be a part of the Messenger app, but it’s not. And the deep iOS integration makes this approach really shine (“Sign in as MG Siegler?”). 

I also can’t help but wonder if maybe this is a message from Facebook: don’t want to come work with us? Fine, we’ll clone your service in a couple weeks and ship it to a billion users.

At the very least, Poke is a fun attempt to make use of an old part of Facebook in a way that actually makes some sense in the modern, mobile world.

shortformblog:

Facebook’s Snapchat competitor is called “Poke,” confirming what we already knew: The word “Poke” is innuendo for sexy time.

Fascinating just how close to Snapchat it actually is.

There’s no question that the UI/UX is better here, but I’m not sure how much that will actually matter with the teenage Snapchat demographic. Many teens seem to use apps that look and may even perform awful, but it doesn’t matter. All that matters is the graph — that their friends are using it.

And you might think, “but everyone is on Facebook” — sure, but that also doesn’t matter if the use case is different. Maybe teens are using Snapchat specifically because it’s not Facebook.

Anyway, I’m not going to pretend to really understand Snapchat anyway. Compelling social, fun idea (the self-destructing message) — but high potential to be faddish. But I’m sure I’m missing something.

I’m more interested here in Facebook’s continued march to make stand-alone apps. This seems like it should be a part of the Messenger app, but it’s not. And the deep iOS integration makes this approach really shine (“Sign in as MG Siegler?”).

I also can’t help but wonder if maybe this is a message from Facebook: don’t want to come work with us? Fine, we’ll clone your service in a couple weeks and ship it to a billion users.

At the very least, Poke is a fun attempt to make use of an old part of Facebook in a way that actually makes some sense in the modern, mobile world.

Rob Fishman for BuzzFeed:

On the last night of October, the Google+ integration went live. For days after, Readers kept browser tabs and mobile apps open, like voicemails from a deceased relative. With a single refresh, Google Reader as they knew it would be gone.

A fascinating, comprehensive background on Google Reader and how Google fucked it up with Google+. Also, I had no idea “Sharebros” existed.

Under The Influence Of Klout

As an outsider, my view of Klout has mainly been a bit of fascination about why it pisses some people off so much. I’ve been in conversations where it gets brought up and someone will visibly cringe. As best I can tell, at a fundamental level, it boils down to this:

People don’t like to be ranked — unless they have a high ranking. But if the ranking is too high, it’s better to pretend like you don’t like that ranking so as not to piss off the people below you who have helped give you such a high ranking. In other words, people are pissed off at the bottom *and* at the top of the scale. A rock and a hard place.

This feeling is exacerbated by the fact that this is the internet. The great unifier. Here, everyone can truly be equal. Except that’s not really true.

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An interesting analogy by Alexis Madrigal:

But by most accounts and third-party research, the service is growing its number of users but not their engagement. People are “on” Google Plus, but they are not really ON Google Plus. The infrastructure is there. The street signs are there. People own plots of land. But there’s nobody actually visiting town. To make it obvious: Google Plus is the California City to Facebook’s Los Angeles.

This is an elaborate way to argue what I have before: Google+, while a pretty good product, isn’t taking off because it’s unnatural. It was set up to succeed except for one problem: it was set up.

Madrigal also has a compelling way to get Google’s social efforts back on track: scrap Google+ and focus on how people are actually using Google products. As he writes:

I think Google needs to stop looking across town at Facebook and look within itself. Google is riddled with invisible social networks surrounding a wide range of products. Even better, Google’s homegrown social networks tend to be built around Google’s core strength: organized (and organizing) information.

In other words, stop trying to build a weird Facebook/Twitter hybrid on top of Google products and instead focus on the individual (and natural) social elements of the already-in-use products.

Obviously, that’s much more easily said than done. And it doesn’t really get at what this is all really about: unified, cross-pollinated data. But it would be much more natural.