This time it is the self-proclaimed "leader in web content management for higher education" -- OmniUpdate (news, site) -- the latest release of which contains not one, but two new integration points with Facebook. Before I get into my questions about timing and strategy, let's review the new functionality.
Send to Facebook
It is a standard use case. Almost every college now has a Facebook Page -- and if they don't, then they have bigger problems -- and the administrators of said Facebook Page want to keep the content fresh for prospective and existing students.
Content managers using the new version of OmniUpdate can create Wall posts that coincide to updates to web content. The Wall posts can be published immediately or on a scheduled basis. Furthermore, multiple Facebook Pages are supported with the ability for users to be configured to only post to certain Facebook Pages.
On the other side of the equation is OU Social, a Facebook application that dynamically links content within Facebook with content being managed in OmniUpdate Campus. Administrators install the Facebook app on the page that needs to be kept up-to-date and then associates OmniUpdate managed content with the app.
OmniUpdate Social Facebook App
Of the two offerings, OU Social seems like the more useful option, considering there is a one-time setup action and then your Facebook page is always up-to-date. The big assumption here is that most OmniUpdate users would prefer to avoid spending any more time with Facebook than is necessary.
However, if your Facebook presence is a big part of your marketing efforts to current and prospective students -- not to mention staff and alumni, then "Send to Facebook" makes more sense.
I can't help but wonder about the strategy behind these two pieces of functionality. First of all, OmniUpdate and Facebook have both been around long enough for this type of integration to have happened much earlier. Why now? Facebook didn't just become the most popular web community on the planet. As a matter of fact, Facebook started within colleges, which is OmniUpdate's core audience.
Furthermore, if OmniUpdate's users have waited this long for this kind of Facebook integration, does this mean that all other high-priority enhancements have been implemented or defects fixed? I wonder what OmniUpdate's users are giving up to have more integration with Facebook.
Post a comment below and let me know if I am out of my mind.
Regardless of the strategy behind the upgrade, OmniUpdate users that are looking for enhanced Facebook integration -- and really, who isn't -- should look into updating their installation.