Google spends billions of dollars indexing the web for their search engine. Facebook will get the web to index itself, exclusively for Facebook. The entire Internet will be turned into a tributary system for Facebook. And it all flows from a simple “Like” gesture.
Facebook’s New Social Plugins:
Like Plugin – This plugin is simple and requires no login. It will show visitors to your site, which of their Facebook friends have engaged with your site recently. If a user likes something on your site with this button it automatically appears in their Facebook profile as well.
Activity Stream Plugin – This displays a filtered view of the Facebook News Feed containing updates from only your site.
Facebook Login Plugin – It works like the existing Facebook Connect login button, and it adds photos of your Facebook friends who have already joined the site.
Social Bar Plugin – A toolbar that is added to the bottom of your site. The Social Bar includes a Like button, friends who like the site, as well as Facebook chat.
Recommendations Plugin – A plugin that shows recommendations of items or content that visitors to your site may be interested in, based on recommendations from Facebook connections.
In addition to these newer features, there’s another Facebook feature I’ve been meaning to blog about for awhile now. It’s a simple link Facebook displays below your albums or pictures called: Share this album with anyone by sending them this public link. Essentially you copy and paste this link into an email or website and, voila!, you have instant photo sharing with people who aren’t on Facebook!
You can have a look at a recent album I created by clicking on Grant Storry Through The Years. The significance of this new and simple to use feature is that it opens Facebook up to competing with photo specific sites like Flickr.com, Google’s Picasa, photobucket, and shutterfly.
Yes, Facebook is definitely a company to watch. Several years ago, after Microsoft invested in Facebook giving the company a $15 Billion valuation, I wondered how the one-trick pony would live up to the hype. After all, social networks have come and gone from Friendster to, arguably, Myspace. The direction Facebook is now headed, permeating it’s features throughout the Internet, now gives me some perspective on what Facebook’s endgame vision is. With traffic passing Google this March and shares trading at $17 Billion, Facebook is king of the hill.
From an online marketing perspective, competition is a good thing. Many online marketing gurus are turning to Facebook to round out their online ad budgets due to the affordability of Facebook ads over Google PPC Adwords. In addition to a cheaper place to advertise to well over 400 million Internet users on Facebook, the new social plugins allow us to engage customers and prospects at a whole new level.
Take my ridiculous Facebook Album, for example. I created all those photos on a site called Yearbookyourself.com by Jostens. Jostens is a class ring and yearbook production company. What a great use of social media & viral marketing by creating a microsite to “Yearbook Yourself”. The site allows you to either upload a pic of yourself or take one using your webcam. You can then edit your photo and fit it into either male or female classic yearbook photos from decades spanning the 60s-2000. You can then save the resulting photos to your computer or connect them directly to your Facebook account with a simple button click.
All photos are imprinted with a url to Josten’s microsite. Instantly, Jostens has the 400+ million people who are part of the Facebook community promoting their brand and driving traffic to their site in exchange for a goofy picture of themselves. Heck, they even have people like me blogging about it and spreading the word as well. Therein lies the power of social media marketing done right. This could get very interesting over the next several years, provided Facebook doesn’t scare everyone off with privacy concerns…