Tag Archives: Facebook

Facebook Won’t Budge On Letting Drag Queens Keep Their Names

Screen Shot 2014-09-18 at 4.03.06 PM Facebook will not be changing its real-name policy for the drag queen community. San Francisco drag queens met with representatives from the company yesterday afternoon to talk through a recent mass deletion of their personal profile pages. Facebook started deleting accounts of hundreds of members of the drag community last week after deciding these profiles were in violation of the policy. Read More


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Facebook Highlights Its 1-Billion-Video-Views-Per-Day Reach By Adding View Counts

view-count To prove to advertisers and the world that it’s not just YouTube that has massive video engagement online, Facebook today announced it now delivers 1 billion video views per day and will begin showing everyone view counts on videos posted by Pages and public figures. This could convince advertisers shifting TV ad spend to digital to look to Facebook, which recently bought video adtech… Read More


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Facebook To Re-Educate All Users With A Privacy Checkup On Their Posts, Apps, And Profiles

PrivacyCheckupIntro The top gripe about Facebook is that people don’t know who they’re sharing with, so in the coming days Facebook will push everyone through a multi-step privacy checkup that reminds who they share statuses with, what apps they’ve given permissions, and what’s visible on their profile. A cutesy blue dinosaur will lead people through the process which was originally tested… Read More


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Facebook Goes Down In Global Outage. Update: It’s Back!

facebook-down Facebook appears to be a suffering a major international outage this morning, with the site unavailable in multiple regions around the world, including on web and mobile, and Facebook social plug-ins on other websites also acting up. The Facebook.com site is unavailable here in the UK and in other European locations including France and Belgium. It also appears to be offline in parts of… Read More


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Facebook Is Down For Many

Screen Shot 2014-05-09 at 5.09.36 PM Facebook’s website is down for many. The voluminous reports on Twitter, and corroborating evidence, are pretty plain: For many, Facebook is not working at the moment. Young services are infamous for having extensive outages. Twitter, for one, when small, was down chronically.  Facebook going down, given how mature it is as a platform and public company, is a larger issue. Developers take… Read More


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CrunchWeek: Foursquare Splits Into Two Apps, Facebook f8, Twitter Stock Sinks To New Lows

Most of the TechCrunch team has converged in New York City in advance of our annual Disrupt NY conference. So in this episode of CrunchWeek, we’re out of the TCTV studio and in a room at the historic New Yorker hotel, adjacent to where the Disrupt NY Hackathon is set to begin in less than 24 hours. If you pay close attention, you might just sense the spirit of former New Yorker resident… Read More


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Facebook Launches FB Newswire To Try To Be A Journalist’s Best Friend

fb-newswire_news11 Facebook has launched FB Newswire, the company announced today, which is a product of a partnership with News Corp-owned Storyful and which promises to offer journalists a repository of verified, real-time content for use in covering breaking news stories. Storyful’s entire raison d’etre was to verify news sources from social sites including FB, Twitter and Instagram, and the FB… Read More


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Facebook Bought Oculus VR To Create The Metaverse, Or Why Angry Kickstarter Backers Need To Chill

There are many people out there who take a pessimistic view of Facebook. To them, Mark Zuckerberg is a huckster, out to sell us the snake oils of distraction and dopamine in exchange for our eyeballs and personal data. I take the more optimistic view. Read More


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Kik Founder On Facebook Buying WhatsApp: Mobile Messaging Now “Table Stakes”

table-stakes-messaging

Mobile messaging consolidation is coming fast and heavy recently, with the Viber/Rakuten deal and today’s WhatsApp acquisition by Facebook. Another contender in the space, Waterloo-based Kik, has also seen good traction and growth (though admittedly not on the level of WhatsApp). Kik founder and CEO Ted Livingston tells TechCrunch that this is a clear message that, well, messaging is the new black, in case it wasn’t clear before

“It’s $ 16 billion clearer that we’re now in the age of the mobile messenger,” he explained to me in a conversation on his company’s platform. “Now for the fun part: What comes after chat? What does identity mean for mobile? How do you build the best platform? These are questions Kik has been thinking about for four years.”

I asked Livingston what he thinks this means for WhatsApp, which has been a constant rival for Kik since 2009, when both companies were originally founded. Under Facebook’s stewardship, it can probably one of two ways, he said.

“Is this YouTube or MySpace?” he asked, referring to two acquisition stories which went in very different directions. YouTube, acquired by Google in 2006, continued its growth and exists as a very successful, mostly standalone property that has monetized fairly successfully. MySpace was acquired by News Corp in 2005 for $ 580 million, only to be sold in 2011 for just $ 35 million after users fled the platform in droves.

It’s a good question, but one that Livingston doesn’t see any answer to yet. WhatsApp and Facebook both claim that the messaging app will continue on as usual, acting as a distinct company with its existing revenue model and ad-free design intact. That could help it follow YouTube’s example to continued growth, rather than Myspace’s downward trajectory. As for what it means for the industry in general, Livingston says it’s simple.

“Having a popular mobile messenger is simply going to become table stakes for competing in the mobile era [among big tech companies],” he said. While some, like Apple, have already achieved this with products including iMessage (and to some extent, Google with Hangouts, too), there are plenty of companies out there who still need to figure out their mobile messaging play if they want to remain relevant as purveyors of social products, including Yahoo.

Livingston says this doesn’t change how Kik will approach its own product, however. If anything, it only serves to reinforce that they had the right idea to begin with.

“We’ve been working on how to turn a messenger into a platform for the last four years,” he said. “If anything, this just validates our roadmap.” As to what that roadmap entails, Kik recently opened up an in-app browser to web developer partners in an effort to bring content inside the network.

Kik is an obvious target for acquisition at this point in the mobile messaging space, despite its smaller user pool. I asked Livingston whether they’re looking around for suitors, and whether they actually received any offers today. He had “no comment” on that second question, but was more willing to share on the first.

“We saw this before, when Facebook bought Beluga and Skype bought Groupme,” he answered, before getting a bit philosophical, and thus managing to avoid delivering a straight answer. “This is going to be one of the most valuable races of the mobile era. What a privilege [for us] to have the opportunity to take part in it.”


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73% Of U.S. Adults Use Social Networks, Pinterest Passes Twitter In Popularity, Facebook Stays On Top

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Facebook may be currently facing question marks over how well it’s faring with younger users, but among those over 18 in the U.S. it remains the social network king. According to figures out today from the researchers at the Pew Research Center, the percentage of adults using the social networks of Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Twitter or Instagram to communicate with each other is now at 73%, and Facebook — the world’s largest social network with 1.19 billion users — remains the most popular in the U.S., with 71% of U.S. adults using it.

In other words, nearly all adults that responded that they are on a social network are using Facebook. That’s four percentage points up from last year’s 67%, Pew notes. It comes at a time of heightened competition: partly thanks to the rise of mobile apps — the number of people on multiple networks is now at 42%.

Among the top five networks (as charted by Pew), there is a lot more wiggle room for who comes in second after Facebook. LinkedIn — site that bills itself as the “professional” social network focused on networking, job hunting and professional information and news — is hanging on at number-two, with 22% of U.S. adults using it — up 2% on last year. Close behind it is Pinterest — which has vaulted over Twitter to number-three position with 21% usage.

Twitter — despite the different services that it has launched to increase engagement like Twitter Music other discovery services; and despite the increased attention around its IPO — has only grown by two percentage points to 18%. Hot on its heels is Instagram at 17%.

Google+ does not make it into the top-five mix — not because of its lack of popularity; but because Pew says it did not include it in its survey questions.

Indeed, Pew’s numbers reveal a bit, confirm a bit of what we might have already guessed, but also leave a few blind spots. While there is a 42% overlap of usage across multiple sites, some 36% of respondents said that they only used one social network, and Pew notes that “22% did not use any of the five specific sites we asked about.” That could mean they used services like Google+, Snapchat, something else entirely, or nothing at all.

How many versus how often

Screen Shot 2013-12-30 at 17.14.14For these sites, which are constructed in large part around advertising-based business models, critical mass is crucial: you won’t visit a site if no one else is using it. Similarly, on the commercial side of the equation, one of the key metrics that the sites, and their advertisers, like to focus on is engagement.

It’s interesting, therefore, that when it comes to frequency of use, the rankings change. Facebook continues to remain at the top in the daily rankings, with 63% of people accessing it on a daily basis. Instagram — last in the general rankings — is not far off and in second place, with a 57% daily use. Similarly, its weekly and “less often” rates are also close, respectively at 22%/20% and 14%/22%. (This goes some way towards explaining why Facebook was keen to acquire it: their usage patterns are very close.)

Twitter may overall be seeing less usage in general than Pinterest but those who are on it appear more engaged: some 46% of Twitter users are on it daily for their quick fix of quips made and received. Pinterest, in contrast, has a fairly low rate of daily usage, with 23% of its users visiting on a daily basis.

Facebook, Instagram and Twitter also are generating a significant amount of mulitple-times-per-day use, with 40% at Facebook, 35% at Instagram and 29% at Twitter, Pew says.

LinkedIn, meanwhile, has a lot of work to do, with only 13% of its users going there daily. Are those the ones looking for work? In any case, this is another way of explaining why it is that LinkedIn has tried to overhaul its whole content operation, to create something that will attract people to visit it more frequently than just “less often.”

Pew notes that for now it looks like Facebook is partly winning because of how it has managed to appeal to a wide range of users — a pretty impressive turn for widening its reach, considering that it started out as a network restricted only to university networks.

The demographic data for other networks stands in contrast to this: Pinterest “holds particular appeal to female users”, with women four times more likely as men to be Pinterest users; LinkedIn is “especially” popular among college graduates and internet users in higher income households. Twitter and Instagram resonate with urbanites and younger adults, and non-whites. (Facebook has over 70% usage among whites, Hispanics and black users, Pew notes.) All of them, excepting LinkedIn, has its highest proportion of users in the 18-29 age bracket; LinkedIn is more popular with the 30-49 group.

Among those who say they use only one social networking site, Facebook is a clear winner with 84% selecting it as their sole site, with the others lagging behind by a very far stretch: 8% solely use LinkedIn, 4% solely use Pinterest, and Instagram and Twitter each picked up only 2% — positioning them as firmly secondary in the U.S. market today.

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