Social media moves so fast, it's hard to keep up. Here are the week's top stories in scan-friendly format:
- FriendFeed Offers Up File Sharing
- New Zealand Mobile Facebook up 700% in Last Five Months
- Flickr Finally Embraces Twitter, Challenges TwitPic
- Small Brands Can Have Facebook Vanity URLs Also
FriendFeed Offers Up File Sharing
Twitter seems to be the microblogging site that gets all the attention and Hollywood love, but there is another option out there called FriendFeed. Many FriendFeed fanatics choose the service because it allows you to have threaded conversations, real-time refreshes of content and other cool new features.
FriendFeed recently offered up another reason to prefer the service: the ability to attach files to your FriendFeed messages. That's right, now you can attach documents, PSD files and even MP3s (up to 3 per day). To get your files attached to a FriendFeed message, you can upload them using the regular web posting method or e-mail them to a special e-mail address. Users need to be aware of the existence of a file size limit, especially when uploading large files.
This might be a small feature, but it is now one more thing that FriendFeed does that Twitter doesn't. Twitter is obviously aiming for easy-to-use and, therefore, the company is paring down its features and service offering. This move is good for picking up users seeking simplicity; but advanced users, who crave a more complete feature set, should give FriendFeed a good look.
New Zealand Mobile Facebook up 700% in Last Five Months
We've reported on the Social Media Minute about the rapid growth of social networks, especially the international growth of Facebook. To this end, some eye-catching numbers have emerged recently. According to Telecom New Zealand, a mobile phone carrier in the Kiwi country, Facebook usage on mobile devices is up 700% since January 2009.
What is fueling the drastic mobile use of Facebook? A new service from Telecom that allows Facebook users to receive SMS messages that include new friend requests, status updates and new messages. Users can also use SMS to update status, search for phone numbers and upload videos and pictures via SMS.
The lesson to learn here: integrate Facebook (or any similar service) with existing, widely-used services, such as SMS, and watch usage grow rapidly. In a similar move, Telecom New Zealand is integrating Twitter messages with SMS as well.
Flickr Finally Embraces Twitter, Challenges TwitPic
In order to add much-needed photo sharing to Twitter, users have relied upon services such as TwitPic to post links to photos for their friends and followers on the Twitter social network. However, some Twitter users, who also have Flickr accounts, have wondered why can't I post images I have on Flickr to my Twitter page? For those asking this question, Flickr finally has an answer called Flickr2Twitter.
Using the Twitter API, Flickr now allows users to send a link to a Flickr picture along with a short message (all within Twitter's 140-character limit) to their Twitter followers and fans. The feature was just released out of Beta and is available for all Flickr users with a Twitter account. To push an image onto Twitter, you simply click the "Blog this" button on your Flickr image web page and the web service does the rest.
Mobile phone users can also e-mail their photos to Flickr and automatically post it to Twitter using a special e-mail address that is generated after you enable and authorize the Flickr2Twitter functionality.
This newly added feature to Flickr might seem like a minor one, but Flickr2Twitter means you can marry the two services you already utilize. Also, not having to post photo assets to yet another website, such as TwitPic, can enable users to manage the information more efficiently.
Small Brands Can Have Facebook Vanity URLs Also
When Facebook vanity URLs were first introduced, it was known that Facebook pages could get their own URL if they had more than 1,000 people who "fanned" the page. This made small brands, who have less than 1,000 followers, unable to secure a Facebook vanity URL. For example, Joe's Coffee Shop, without 1,000+ people "fanning" his page, would not be able to reserve the Facebook.com/JoesCoffeeShop web address. This isn't very nice, for all those little guys out there on Facebook trying to make a name for themselves.
However, a recent Mashable post has confirmed that the 1,000-fans restriction has been lifted as of June 28. Therefore, companies, brands and administrators of Facebook fan pages can now start the rush to reserve their Facebook vanity URL.
What is your response to this? Do you think Facebook URLs even matter in today's web world? Some may argue that a company is better off to invest resources into making their own website best of breed before investing time and energy into their Facebook presence. But, on the other hand, there are 250 active Facebook users who can't be ignored. We can't wait to see the discussion in the comments below.