Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The New Bitly

This morning I was doing my usual social media postings, and I went to use Bitly to shorten one of my URLs, and I was quite surprised to see that Bitly has completed changed its site.  I have always liked the simple user interface and speed of the old Bitly site.

Bitly has expanding its service beyond URL shortening into something that looks like its own social network.  The update includes a new user interface, new user profile pages, more visibility for what friends are sharing, a new iPhone app, an improved search tool, better privacy controls and more.

The URL shortening almost seems like an afterthought in the new design. Or, more likely, it’s being purposely played down in favor of the focus on content and sharing.

This led me to consider other options, and I found a few.  The first is one that I have known for a while called Tiny URL.  I also discovered that Google has their own URL shortner, big surprise.  I will try them all and choose the one that is the fastest and easiest URL shortener.

While most sites are doing all that they can to copy the simple interface of Google, Bitly has decided to move in a different direction.  Only time will tell if this bet pays off.

Monday, May 21, 2012

The Future of Facebook

By now the last thing you want to see is more news about Facebook.  I cannot believe the amount of hype surrounding the recent IPO.The real icing on the cake was Zuckerberg getting married the day after the IPO launch.

Now after all this hype, what is the real future of Facebook?  Can it really become the advertising machine that everyone expects it to be?  Will Facebook still be cool now that moms and grandmothers are on it?

These are all very good questions and we will all be watching closely to see what the future holds for Facebook and all its new investors.  I can only offer my opinion, and I remind everyone that it is just my opinion, but I hope it sparks some good debate.

I believe that Facebook is at its peak of popularity and that it cannot keep growing at this pace.  I also believe that like anything else, we will see more competition in the social media space.  Google+ is not going to disappear, and they have the money to invest.  I also feel that the younger generation will eventually rebel, and find something else to use.

I also think that we will see more affinity based social media sites.  So special interest groups, like your college, could have their own social media network.  This would give users a more focused experience, but it would also be very attractive to advertisers.

I also feel that there will be a backlash to the amount of data we are all sharing with the rest of the world.  Once users understand that the information they post becomes a permanent fixture in the cloud, they may be hesitant to post stuff at the same rate.

We can only wait to see if Facebook becomes another, more expensive, MySpace.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Facebook's New App Center

Facebook has recently announced a new App Center, an online marketplace like iTunes or Google Play.

This should be a big hit with average users, as we all know, tracking down Facebook apps was never an easy process. We often relied on friends and family to recommend certain apps.  Now everything will be centralized, easily-accessible, and organized. Even better, App Center will also allow users to get to know an app before it's installed.

Every app must have an 'app detail page,' designed to let us 'see what makes an app unique' before installing and accessing it,"

Developers will have a range of tools at their disposal – which should help companies improve or streamline their products. Facebook will also use a variety of indicators, such as user ratings and engagement, to determine if an app is listed in the App Center.

So watch for this new offering from Facebook.  Enjoy it, but a word of warning, be careful not don't spend any more time on Facebook than you already do.