Archive for ‘Facebook’

April 1, 2011

Facebook Profile Migrations: A Cautionary Tale

by Avinash Saxena

Users who want to migrate from a traditional Facebook Profile to a Facebook Page might want to think twice, or even thrice, before making the leap. The new tool is intended to help brands, local business, organizations or public figures create a new Facebook page while still bringing their friends (ie, fans) along with them.

It’s great that Facebook is offering users this tool, but those interested in the migration should proceed with extreme caution. I unintentionally committed Facebook suicide earlier this afternoon when I participated in the process myself. What I had hoped would be a way for me to create a fan page and then re-establish a new personal account has instead turned into a bit of a technical, and social media-induced nightmare.

Understanding the Target Audience

Facebook told me that this is a tool meant for businesses, not individuals. The company doesn’t encourage users to convert their profiles to Pages because content doesn’t move over, only connections.

Just looking at the page for the new migration tool, Facebook makes this point clear, but the site isn’t explicit about what this actually means.

Here is what converting a page actually means, in terms of user content:

  • Only your profile photo transfers, no other profile photos or intricate profile information carries over.
  • Any uploaded photos, wall posts, comments and likes disappear.
  • Facebook messages disappear.
  • Any applications linked to a Facebook account lose that connection.
  • The username you have on your profile may or may not transfer over. In my case, it didn’t, and now serves up a big fat, not found page, rather than my profile. The kicker? The name has been “used” so I can’t claim it again.
  • The resulting account is known as a Business Account and can only be used to create and manage pages, not to engage in personal contact. This means that even if you do create a brand new Facebook profile (more on that later), you have to consistently switch between the two accounts for different tasks.

I understood that I would lose photos, wall posts and messages. What I didn’t anticipate was the loss of my username (a name I had to fight to get in the great Facebook Username Race of 2009) and that any applications associated with my account (including games) would now have major issues working.

The real trouble, however, came when I attempted to re-create a personal profile page.

Personal Profile Hell

I have been using Facebook since 2005. In that time, I’ve amassed far too many “friends” and had over 800 pending friend requests in my queue. That was the reason I wanted to convert my account to a public page. My thought was, if I can make my main page and point of contact public, I can have a more private regular profile and use Facebook like a normal person again.

This, was not to be. Forgetting the actual concerns with managing a public page in this way, for starters, re-creating my personal profile page required a number of new hoops.

The first problem was that I could not longer associate myself with any networks or e-mail addresses in use by the other account. That meant I couldn’t show that I work at Mashable and I couldn’t add my cell phone to my new profile. Removing those e-mails and networks from the Business Account was that workaround, but it creates more of a problem in maintaining separate pages.

Second, and this is the real issue in my case, I can’t even send friend requests to half of my friend or even some family members because Facebook thinks that I’m spamming people I don’t actually know. I can’t do anything to convince them that I do know said individuals and instead will have to harangue my friends and family to add the new me as a friend.





Third, even though I can switch between acting as the Christina Warren that is my personal profile and the Christina Warren that is a fan, because all of my social accounts are linked to a now defunct personal account, I have to reset every tool I have used that integrates with Facebook. I was under the impression that as a Page, I could still like a share content to that page’s feed without having a problem. Not only can I not do that, if I want to like or share content on my personal account, I need to be logged into a totally different setup.

Don’t Try This at Home

As usual, I should have listened to Jeffrey Zeldman. Had I seen the great web standards guru’s blog post from March 5, 2011, I might have avoided this entire mess. Zeldman also underwent the process of converting a personal profile to a public figure page and met with the same set of problems that I am now facing.

Fortunately for Zeldman, a kind anonymous Facebook engineer was able to reverse his account to working order. Facebook makes it clear that once the conversion is done, it’s done. So for me, that means that I will have to try to figure out a way to manage the hell I have created for myself, all in the interest of trying to better separate my personal and professional Facebook presences. (An aside, if anyone at Facebook wants to throw a good gesture my way, holla!)

I can’t say I wasn’t warned, but the reality of the situation differs so dramatically from even my worst-case scenario thoughts that this is a process I can only recommend to users who created regular Facebook accounts specifically for a business or public figure and that never had a real personal connection of any type associated to that account.

The real solution, sadly, for individuals looking to migrate, is to create a Facebook page and then try to convince friends to fan that page and look at it as a source of news.


March 31, 2011

How Women Really Feel About Their Facebook Friends

by Avinash Saxena
When it comes to Facebook, we have friends, and we have “friends.” A recent survey found that for many women on Facebook, their true feelings about many of their Facebook friends might be less than friendly.
Daily deals site Eversave talked to 400 women about their Facebook relationships. The company originally conducted the survey as market research on the social network’s influence on the daily deals ecosystem, but Eversave was surprised to uncover the love/hate relationship between women and their online friends.
For example, the majority of female respondents said they had at least one friend who was a “drama queen” on Facebook. A majority also said they had at least one obnoxiously “proud mother” as a Facebook friend.
Most women — 83% of respondents in this survey — are annoyed at one time or another by the posts from their Facebook connections. For these respondents, the most off-putting post was some kind of whine; a full 63% said complaining from Facebook friends was their number one pet peeve, with political chatter and bragging coming in a distant second and third.
The respondents also said at least one of their Facebook friends tended to:
  • Share too many mundane updates too often (65%)
  • “Like” too many posts (46%)
  • Inappropriately or too frequently use Facebook to promote causes (40%)
  • Project false information or images of a perfect life (40%)
These kinds of Facebook archetypes have become part of the cultural lexicon. We recently covered anamusing music video about Facebook “types.” But it’s fascinating to see these characteristics quantified by the women who get teed off by them.
Here are a couple infographics with more details from the survey:


March 21, 2011

Facebook Acquires Snaptu to Bring Social Networking to Feature Phones

by Avinash Saxena

Facebook has acquired Israeli startup Snaptu, a creator of simple mobile applications for feature phones, for an estimated $70 million.

Snaptu’s technology is designed to bring web service such as Facebook, Twitter & LinkedIn to almost any phone through a series of applications it has designed. The company’s Java-based apps replicate many of the features of smartphone apps, but make them accessible to the millions of people that don’t own a smartphone.

In fact, Facebook tapped Snaptu earlier this year to create its feature phone app, which provides an almost smartphone-like experience that includes contact syncing and a homescreen that will be familiar to users of the social network’s iPhone and Android applications. One of the reasons Facebook chose Snaptu is because its technology works on more than 2,500 different mobile devices.

“We soon decided that working as part of the Facebook team offered the best opportunity to keep accelerating the pace of our product development,” Snaptu said in blog post. “And joining Facebook means we can make an even bigger impact on the world.”

The deal, which will close in the next few weeks, was first reported in several Israeli publications. Snaptu was founded in 2007 as Mobilca and has raised funding from Sequioa Capital and Carmel Ventures.


March 20, 2011

Facebook Photos Help to Incriminate Bigamist

by Avinash Saxena

A word of caution to any would-be bigamists who may be reading this: If you’re posting photos of your second wedding to Facebook, you might want to make sure your first wife can’t see them.

That’s precisely what Richard Barton Jr. of Grand Rapids, Michigan, did; he’s now out of jail, perhaps but briefly, on a personal recognizance bond.

Barton, 34, had been estranged from his first wife, Adina Quarto, for a period of several years. The couple, who have a six-year-old son, had discussed getting a divorce in the past, but neither party followed through on those discussions.

As Quarto told The Grand Rapids Press, “He told me he just wanted to ignore the situation and pretend I didn’t exist.”

Barton had also become engaged in 2010 to a woman who thought he was divorced; shortly after that, he unfriended his first wife on Facebook and married the other woman, posting wedding photos to his Facebook profile.

Unfortunately for Barton, he never adjusted the privacy settings on those photos to disallow viewing by his first wife. Although she and Barton were no longer Facebook friends, Quarto was able to see pictures of what appeared to be a beach wedding.

After a few months and still none of the promised divorce papers in the mail, Quarto did the only thing she could do: She called the police. Barton was arrested Wednesday.


March 17, 2011

Facebook “Likes” More Profitable Than Tweets

by Avinash Saxena

If event registration site Eventbrite’s experience is any indication, social media marketers looking for monetary returns on their efforts might get more value from Facebook than Twitter.

The company announced Wednesday that an average tweet about an event drove 80 cents in ticket sales during the past six months, whereas an average Facebook Like drove $1.34.

The study, which used in-house social analytics tools to track ticket sales on the site, was a continuation of asimilar analysis the company released in October after analyzing data from a 12-week period. That study also indicated Facebook drove more sales for Eventbrite than Twitter, although the difference between the two networks’ sales per post was greater at that point than throughout the entire six-month period (the “value” of tweets increased).

In addition to each individual Facebook Like driving more sales than an individual tweet, the study also revealed cumulative activity on Facebook was greater than activity on Twitter for Eventbrite. People shared Eventbrite events on Facebook almost four times as often as they did on Twitter. The company attributes this disparity to Facebook’s wider reach and greater emphasis on real-world ties.

It’s important to note that only a very small percentage of site visitors shared event pages on either network. Just 1% of people who landed on an event page shared it with their friends; 10% of people who had purchased a ticket did the same.

Obviously people are more likely to share events if they are attending. Their friends, according to Eventbrite’s data, are also more likely to buy tickets to an event shared on Facebook by a ticket holder than one shared by an uncommitted friend. But whether these trends, or any of Eventbrite’s findings, are relevant to other types of purchases is still a matter of speculation. But Eventbrite is betting they are.

“We carefully track sharing behavior in an effort to help event organizers tap into a new world of distribution for their event promotion,” wrote Tamara Mendelsohn, Eventbrite’s director of marketing and former senior analyst at Forrester Research, in a blog post about the study. “But the findings apply broadly to all e-commerce businesses, because the foundation


March 14, 2011

How Do Social Networkers Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day?

by Avinash Saxena
While you’re making plans for St. Patrick’s Day (this Thursday, March 17), take a look at this infographic that shows you what other social networkers will be doing, revealing their opinions of that green-beer-besotted holiday that’s coming soon to a corner pub near you.
To gather data, Lab 42 surveyed 405 social network users, and the company assures us those respondents were evenly distributed across all age groups and income levels.
What do you think of St. Patrick’s Day? Let us know in the comments whether you plan to engage in the wearin’ o’ the green, maybe quaff some green beverages, or skip the celebration altogether.
March 13, 2011

Facebook Adds Ability to Easily Tag Others In Comments

by Avinash Saxena

Facebook has expanded its @ Mentions feature, now letting you tag friends, pages, events or groups within comments, turning their names into clickable links by using a simple drop-down menu.

Try it. Start a comment in Facebook, type the “@” symbol, and when you type the first letter of a friend or group’s name, a drop-down menu appears and creates an easily navigated link to that friend or group’s page. When you mention and link to somebody like this, it notifies that person that you’ve done so.

There’s more coolness: According to Inside Facebook, “Admins can ‘use Facebook as a Page’ and publish comments that mention themselves on the posts of other Pages in order to attract people to their Page.”

In other words, this is a way to get around Facebook’s spam filter that often won’t let you include URLs in comments (hey, that’s just like Mashable), letting you slip in a link to your page that might actually stick.


March 11, 2011

Twitter Users React To Massive Quake, Tsunami In Japan

by Avinash Saxena

A powerful 8.9 magnitude earthquake struck the coast of Japan on Friday, causing widespread power outages, fires and a severe tsunami that was reported to be up to 10 meters high in places. It was the seventh most powerful earthquake in recorded history.

The reaction on Twitter, quickly becoming the go-to service in emergencies, was immediate and intense. Less than an hour after the quake, with the country’s phone system knocked out, the number of tweets coming from Tokyo were topping 1,200 per minute, according to Tweet-o-Meter.

In the U.S., West Coast Twitter users learned of the quake late Thursday night and were quickly sharing reports, prayers and video streams. Many favored the live Al-Jazeera feed; others offered a live feed from aJapanese station on Ustream. Meanwhile, hundreds of tweets criticized CNN’s anchor for laughing on air while reporting the tragedy.

On a more practical note, Twitter users shared the tsunami’s estimated times of arrival on U.S. shores — before an official government tsunami warning went into effect. The wave was expected to hit Hawaii first, at roughly 3am local time.

Google’s official feed posted a link to the Japanese version of its People Finder, for loved ones who have been separated


March 11, 2011

Charlie Sheen Death Hoax Spreads Malware Through Facebook

by Avinash Saxena

If you’ve been clicking on links and videos about Charlie Sheen‘s alleged death, you’ve been had by the latest social media malware scam.

Several similar headlines have been spreading around Facebook and, to a lesser extent, Twitter. They begin with “RIP!” or “Breaking News” and contain text to the effect that actor Charlie Sheen has died in his house or due to cardiac arrest.

Clicking on these links takes the user to a fake YouTube-clone page, where any click on any part of the screen will begin spreading the scam on the user’s own Facebook profile. Then, the user is asked to complete a survey before viewing the video, which adds a lead-gen layer to the click-jacking scheme. Finally, some folks are reporting being infected with malware after visiting the site, as well.

It’s a triple whammy of a Facebook hoax, and it couldn’t have come at a worse time for users. We’ve been seeing the actor on a social media blitz after his news media meltdown; he’s taken channels such as Twitterand UStream by storm over the past few days.

The scammers behind this malware have without doubt capitalized on Charlie Sheen’s recent insanity-fueled popularity, especially via social media channels. The actor hasn’t yet commented on the hoax publicly; we’re hoping he at least sends a message to fans from his Twitter account.



If you’ve already clicked links like the one above, first, go through your security settings and revoke any access for apps you don’t recall signing up for. Next, go through your profile and delete any spammy posts you may have sent out. (We’ve written in detail about exactly how to deal with Facebook click-jacking scams; reference that link if you need step-by-step instructions.) Finally, you might want to fire up your antivirus software and make sure your computer isn’t infected.

To the rest of you, safe clicking, and warn your friends about this scam.


March 9, 2011

Warner Bros. Starts Movie Rental Service on Facebook

by Avinash Saxena
Warner Bros. has started delivering movies through Facebook, enabling U.S. users to rent titles for $3.
Now, besides “liking” and commenting on the Dark Knight Facebook Page, you can also watch the movie directly from Facebook (the option is available from the menu on the left). That movie is the only one currently available for rental from the Warner Bros. catalog, with more to come in the following months.
Movies can also be rented for 30 Facebook Credits, an official payment option that enables users to buy virtual goods on Facebook. Renting a movie will give users a 48-hour window to watch it through their Facebook account; users are also able to comment on the movie, as well as pause it and continue watching later.
“Making our films available through Facebook is a natural extension of our digital distribution efforts. It gives consumers a simple, convenient way to access and enjoy our films through the world’s largest social network,” said Thomas Gewecke, president of digital distribution at Warner Bros.
For Facebook, this is another good way to establish Facebook Credits as an important online currency. Even more importantly, with more than 600 million active users, Facebook could become a serious competitor to digital distribution companies such as Hulu and Netflix.
%d bloggers like this: