A few weeks ago, I wrote a post called “Google is Shaking Things Up” where I reviewed some of the major changes Google has implemented in 2010, including the new focus on local search. Google’s furious pace of changes is being easily matched by Facebook, as the two tech titans are squaring off in an epic battle that will be one to watch, the missing gmail import skirmish perhaps a taste of things to come.
2010 is the year that Facebook came out from its walled garden, it’s no longer just a destination site that you hang out in, now Facebook is out and about in the wild. It started with the April announcement of a partnership with Yelp, Pandora, and other sites to share your data with those sites via a feature called “instant personalization“. Later I started noticing that you could use your Facebook login details to log into meetup.com, among other sites.
But what really got Facebook out into the Internet wild was the “Like/Recommend” buttons that was a hit with many websites. Corporations rightly realized this was a way to get site visitors to spread the word about their messaging and web content among their friends and the buttons were adopted like wildfire. The premise is core to the basic Facebook philosophy, in that people trust referrals from friends above all else. Contrast this with the Google philosophy, which is about discovering what is popular and authoritative in the websphere and getting that in front of the searcher.
If you are interested in adding the “Like” or “Recommend” Facebook buttons (there is no difference between the two), first read through this problogger post that might help you decide whether they are right for your website. The post pushed adding the Facebook like button to this blog further down my todo list as testing showed that tech topics tend to do better on Twitter than on Facebook.
The latest from Facebook is Facebook messaging. Facebook users have always been able to message one and other privately, the new feature takes that one step further with the addition of an externally available email address that matches your username, and also by interweaving your chats and texts into one central place . This is a shot across gmail’s bow (even with the recently introduced “priority” feature) and it could be a category killer impacting yahoo and hotmail as well. I wonder what it will mean to the email marketers, as facebook messaging prioritizes messages from your friends above any emails you get by being on a list.
Have you registered for your @facebook.com email account yet? It’s being rolled out in phases, but you can register now at: www.facebook.com/about/messages/. (I wonder, will having a gmail account delay or hasten the time I get my invitation?) Otherwise you can wait until a “Claim Your Facebook email” link shows up in your Messages view.
Kathy Alice Brown is a traffic and conversion expert specializing in SEO, Copywriting and Facebook Ad Campaigns. In her spare time she loves to get outside.