A Vancouver startup called CrowdFanatic has just recently launched, what they are calling a “game changing” group connectivity layer on Facbeook. It’s actually a pretty innovative idea, and now with the Facebook App store, more people will be able to find it and connect their groups.
Facebook does a great job of one to one connections. What they’ve been missing through the years is the chance for groups to connect with groups. For instance a Harry Potter fan group could challenge a Hunger Games group. Or a Kyle Bush fan group could connect with a Dale Earnhardt fan group and challenge each other.
What’s even better is other ideas that can spark on CrowdFanatic’s layer. For instance, a cheerleading group in California could collaborate, and or challenge a cheer leading group from Connecticut. The possibilities are endless, and after talking with the founders of CrowdFanatic, the biggest question is why hasn’t Facebook or someone else stepped up to do this until now? Well it’s here thanks to CrowdFanatic.
Check out our interview below the break
This article is based on theories in which I’ve presented to people before certain sites took what was an idea and called it their own. I’m basing a couple of the features/products within based on speculation and possible rumors in which have happened in the past and ones we’ll surely hear in the close future when it comes to the Mythical Facebook Phone…
Reports are coming hot and heavy this Memorial Day weekend, that Facebook is reinvigorating it’s “Facebook Phone”. Business Insider and the New York Times are staying on top of the story.
According to SAI (sourced to the New York Times) Mark Zuckerberg is personally vetting engineers to join the Facebook team. According to reports he has several iPhone engineers and even an iPad engineer making the shift from Cupertino to Menlo Park.
Zuckerberg has been apparently asking all kinds of tough questions of his new Facebook Phonre recruits, including what chips are in the iPhone.
Potential investors were reportedly concerned about Facebook’s mobile presence when Zuckerberg took Facebook on their pre-IPOD road show.
There is no time frame for the reported release of the Facebook Phone. The device has been rumored for the past three years.
Last year Facebook endorsed two HTC Android devices, the HTC Salsa and the HTC Cha Cha. Both devices featured deep Facebook integration including a dedicated Facebook button on the front of both phones. Despite the social network having over 800 million members, the HTC Salsa and HTC Cha Cha were just marginal selling phones.
The HTC Cha Cha debuted in the US on AT&T. Despite having heavy Facebook integration and even being the sponsor phone for a reunited Blink 182 tour, the Status didn’t even last a quarter.
So why do they think they’ll have better success? Well one piece of the puzzle is an app store. Facebook already had some heavy hitters developing apps for the Facebook platform. Zynga was even able to grow large enough to go public based on the success of their Facebook social games.
Zynga and Facebook have been working hand in hand together now for years. Zynga may be waiting for the offices Facebook phone before releasing mobile versions of their blockbuster hits FarmVille and CityVille.
Facebook’s mobile apps are consistently top five in all other app stores. They just recently release the Facebook camera app which provides deep integration with Facebook, and the ability to post up to 30 photos at a time to Facebook. The Facebook camera may explain the reasoning behind the purchase of Instagram and Light Box
In a move that makes as much sense as buying a company for $1 billion only to release an application just like it weeks later, rumor has it Facebook is looking to buy Opera. Facebook, which is now having to go before the SEC over how it handled its IPO is rumored to want to buy the Browser. Facebook which listed Mobile as a major interest in it’s IPO filing is quickly pushing full steam ahead to build it’s Mobile footprint. Which the acquisitions of Lightbox, Instagram and others Facebook looks to be pushing forward to the often rumored and mythical Facebook Phone.
With getting closer and closer to 1 billion users, having a browser will no doubt send shock waves in what is already a fierce battle between Google with Chrome and Microsoft with Internet Explorer. With the addition of a browser, rumored Application store, buying/built a Camera interface with Instagram and it’s own newly released iOS application, Lightbox for gallery. The only thing left for a full on blitz is an operating system. However after seeing what Amazon did with the Kindle, could a Forked Android version be what Facebook is soon to be looking at building or would buying RIM for it’s Blackberry OS finally push FB into building it’s own phone.
After a topsy turvy day on Friday for Facebook, and Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg’s nuptials on Saturday, the company has decided to extend their good Karma. They’ve done this by purchasing San Francisco based startup Karma.
Karma is an application that allows users to send gifts. Karma says while their are a number of social gifting apps on the market, they differentiate themselves by combining intelligence, social discovery and easy gift giving.
Facebook recently acquihired the team from photo app Lightbox sans their Creative Director Giles Peyton Nicoll who started his own agency. Of course we also know about Facebook’s $1 billion dollar acquisition of photo app Instagram which is expected to close in the second half of the year.
Like Instagram the Karma purchase was a complete acquisition. Karma and Facebook are both saying that for now Karma will continue to operate as is, with a bigger “back bone”.
An acquisition of a startup like Karma makes sense since it is a social app that would inherently give “more” to the social experience. Until we see what’s to come, the LightBox acqui-hire didn’t make that much sense since Facebook did just acquire Instagram which is in the exact same space as Lightbox. In fact Lightbox used to directly compete with Instagram in their outbound marketing to Android users.
Friday was supposed to be a great day for Facebook and by most accounts it was. There were many reports about a party and speech by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg on Thursday the eve of the IPO, that was one last hoorah.
Friday morning started off great. The stock debuted at $38 as it was supposed to. By midday trading it was up to $40.00 and then closed at $38.32. The performance on the stock market was so-so by some accounts, underwhelming by others. But that’s not that wasn’t the worst news for Facebook on Friday.
Facebook was served with a $15 billion dollar privacy related class action lawsuit on Friday. The lawsuit filed in Federal court in San Jose combines 21 previously filed privacy cases across the U.S. Law firms Stewarts Law and Bartimus, Frickleton, Robertson & Gorny are representing the plaintiffs.
Stewarts Law issued the following statement:
Facebook users today filed an amended consolidated class action complaint in federal court in San Jose, California in the case In re: Facebook Internet Tracking Litigation, No. 5:12-md-02314-EJD. The class action asserts federal statutory and California State causes of action related to the revelation in September 2011 that Facebook was improperly tracking the internet use of its members even after they logged out of their accounts. The action consolidates 21 related cases filed in more than a dozen states in 2011 and early 2012.
The plaintiffs assert claims under the federal Wiretap Act, which provides statutory damages per user of US$100 per day per violation, up to a maximum per user of US$10,000. Even if Facebook’s alleged actions constitute a single violation of the Wiretap Act per class member, that implies more than US$15 billion in damages across the class. The complaint also asserts claims under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, the Stored Communications Act, various California Statutes and California common law.
The class action is being led by court-appointed co-lead counsel Stewarts Law US LLP and Bartimus, Frickleton, Robertson & Gorny, P.C. David Straite, Partner at Stewarts Law, stated: “This is not just a damages action, but a groundbreaking digital privacy rights case that could have wide and significant legal and business implications.” In addition to co-lead counsel, the court has appointed a Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee which includes Keefe Bartels in New Jersey; Mandell, Schwartz & Boisclair in Rhode Island; Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow & McElroy in New Jersey; Bergmanis Law Firm in Missouri; Burns, Cunningham & Mackey in Alabama; and Murphy, Falcon & Murphy in Baltimore. The court has also appointed a committee of former State Attorneys General to advise the class, including former Mississippi AG Mike Moore, former Arizona AG Grant Woods, former Hawaii AG Margery Bronster, and former Louisiana AG Richard Ieyoub.
The lawsuit cites federal wire-tapping laws pertaining to Facebook tracking their users. As you can imagine, on such an exciting day, Facebook hasn’t commented to any site on this matter.
source: Stewarts Law via TFTS
Facebook is obviously using their last days of independence to scoop up whatever companies they want. Of course everyone knows about the $1 billion dollar acquisition of Instagram. Facebook also recently acquired social discovery app Glancee which uses Facebook as it’s backbone and was the closest competition to Highlight at South By Southwest in Austin this year.
Now we’ve learned that Facebook has acquired the seven man team behind Lightbox.
Including designer Giles Peyton-Nicoll, the companies creative director and the driving force behind their UI.
Giles Peyton Nicoll The Creative Director behind Lightbox, acquired this week by Facebook, has announced plans to launch a new global design consultancy and build a portfolio of brands “as cherished as Coca-Cola, Apple and Nike”.
As the seven-strong Lightbox engineering team prepares for its relocation to the States, Creative Director and Product Designer Giles Peyton-Nicoll is staying in London and is set to launch a new agency. Full Press Release Below
No financial details were announced. The Lightbox team is based in London, so it’s also unclear where they will work out of or if they will all move to Silicon Valley.
Lightbox is a photo sharing app for Android. They debuted last year and had a pod set up at Google IO. The service is very similar, at least in the sharing aspect, to Instagram. In fact, before Instagram arrived on the Android platform Lightbox would send out emails to it’s user base touting it as a better than Instagram and available on Android. They continued with the same marketing message after Instagram launched on Android just days before the Facebook acquisition.
It was widely reported that on the Facebook investor road show, the company was highly criticized on their mobile efforts. Despite pushing out regular updates of the Facebook app some investors seemed worried that more and more users are resorting to the mobile device and that Facebook needs to make sure they own that position the way they do with social media.
It’s also obvious that Facebook is taking photography very seriously. They recently updated their mobile site and mobile apps to enlarge the size of photos on users walls and news feeds. With the acquisitions of both Instagram and Lightbox they must be working on some bad ass mobile photo app to integrate into the social network.
FULL PRESS RELEASE:
LIGHTBOX CREATIVE TO LAUNCH NEW CONSULTANCY
The Creative Director behind Lightbox, acquired this week by Facebook, has announced plans to launch a new global design consultancy and build a portfolio of brands “as cherished as Coca-Cola, Apple and Nike”.
As the seven-strong Lightbox engineering team prepares for its relocation to the States, Creative Director and Product Designer Giles Peyton-Nicoll is staying in London and is set to launch a new agency.
The 41-year-old is a world-leading branding strategist with a wealth of experience in designing and developing global brands. He founded boutique design agency Aspect, which sold to GYRO in 2000. He then took on a Creative Director role at GYRO, helping them achieve global recognition.
After leaving GYRO in 2002 he became a Digital Strategy and Design Consultant working on global brand, advertising and marketing campaigns for some of the best London digital agencies.
With extensive experience in brand guardianship for many of the world’s favourite brands, his true talent lies in creating successful brands from conception – his last two brand identities – Nakama and Lightbox – have become global success stories.
Mr Peyton-Nicoll said: “I wish my Lightbox colleagues all the best. We had a great time developing the product and I am very proud to have played a major part in the development of what is now a globally-recognised digital brand.
“I’m now looking to the future and the exciting prospect of creating similar powerful brands, as cherished as Coca-Cola, Apple and Nike, for my new clients.”
Business Insider is reporting to have the email in which Mark sent to his Lawyers to try and cut Eduardo Saverin out of Facebook. This move, which later cost Mark 4-5% of the company and will bank Saverin around $5 Billion once the company goes public this Friday. In a move in which Wall Street wants to paint Mark as someone who can’t run a major company will show just how ruthless he can be at times.
The Roanoke-Blacksburg Technology Council held their annual awards banquet this week honoring local companies, and startups in the technology space.
A startup called Lujure Media LLC took home the council’s rising star award which recognizes the hard work of a locally based startup. Lujure has a web based application that allows Facebook users with fan pages to customize them quickly and easily.
Lujure also blogs about the business and semantics of Facebook and delivers information that is important to their customers. Lujure is a premium (paid) Facebook tool and according to Roanoke.com they have thousands of paying customers.
Lujure has generated over $400,000 in revenue in its first year. Their web application helps companies make their fan pages in less than 30 seconds. It’s a simple drag and drop method of putting together a Fan Page. Lujure has a number of different plans which are really based on two things.
The first factor in which plan you should take is how familiar you are with Facebook and Fan pages. This also takes into consideration either how much time you have to maintain your page and how much hand holding you need. Lujure has several plans from free to $3,000 per month. Obviously $3,000 a month may be a lot of money but Lujure gives you all the bells and whistles and does a lot of the work for you.
The other factor is how many enhancements you want.
More after the break
Zynga and Facebook have more in common than just social online gaming. A Chicago Startup called Chippewa Five has helped both Zynga and Facebook get back into physical gaming, at least in their offices.
Chippewa Five or C5 for short, makes professional grade, furniture style beer pong tables. Wait, beer pong? Yes beer pong. Their tables are high quality wood finished tables with a secret skeet shot capability and dining grade table legs. Just look at the picture.
As we learn in our interview with co-founder Daniel Manriquez both Facebook and Zynga have a C5 beer pong table in their offices. It’s not the least bit crazy we’ve actually seen a good dozen or so incubators, and startup offices that have the beer pong tables you can get at Spencers in offices. That’s the “boot strap” version.
Manriquez along with co-founder Joseph Mollo learned that they could take a favorite college past time for themselves and many from their generation and make an actual business out of it. After selling a few tables via easy, and a flash sale on fab.com (the Facebook table) they’ve decided to make a real go out of high end beer pong.
More after the break
A Cooper City Florida company has launched a new social network called WUBB. Their mission seems to be targeted at business and very multi-faceted. If WUBB takes off it’s going to be spectacular for them however if it doesn’t it’s going to be one crazy hodge podge of social mess.
This morning WUBB described itself as “a platform for social entrepreneurs across the world that inspires, connects, communicates and manages your business and professional network by joining Entrepreneurs, Cofounders, Freelancers, Investors, Employees, Family and Friends. It is a multi-user, community-based, business networking hub where people join only to be benefited.”
The home page and dashboard look like a hybrid between Facebook, MySpace and LinkedIn. Speaking of which you can login with your Facebook or LinkedIn account or create your own account.
In addition to the usual dashboard links like dashboard,profile, people and even companies, you’ll also find tabs for contests, services, projects, ideas and even domains and websites. WUBB gives you a portal to buy domain names and buy and sell websites. A little odd for a social network but most likely a revenue stream for the new company.
More after the break
While we admit we are skeptical on the fact that king.com calls themselves a startup, they do so to that end we will as well. Outside of them being a startup though, this little known game development studio in London has overtaken Electronic Arts in terms of daily app users for their Facebook games.
Admittedly, they aren’t anywhere near eclipsing Facebook giant Zynga but they have their sites set on Zynga. According to this report from the Chicago Tribune, king.com’s game Bubble Witch Saga has more daily active players than Zynga’s smash hit Farmville. Impressive. But not quite the 65 million daily users Zynga has across all of their titles.
King.com’s most recent launch, a game called Candy Crush Saga, has already crossed the half a million daily users threshold. That game just debuted last week.
“Our ultimate ambition is to be the leader in our segment of games for the casual social player, mainly female, social and mobile,” King.com’s Chief Executive and co-founder Riccardo Zacconi said in an interview with Reuters. He continued, “Our target is to reach Zynga.”
Across Facebook and other channels King.com reports that they have 2.5 billion games played per month. Although they started out before Facebook gaming became popular a lot of their game plays comes from Facebook. Zynga has been reportedly looking at options outside of Facebook and King.com says they are looking at other places to host their casual games as well.
King.com lacks in the mobile world and plans to change that this year by introducing their most popular titles to iOS and Android. That’s a space where EA and Zynga have already been successful.
Now that we’ve all heard that Instagram’s $500 million valuation drove Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg into a frenzy because he had to have Instagram, it’s time to check out Facebook’s other acquisition this week. While Instagram looks like a pretty solid acquisition into the Facebook family, their other acquisition, Tagtile, may fit better with the Facebook business.
Tagtile is a company that allows you to walk into a store, and tap your phone against a special cube. When you do that, your phone shakes hands with the business. The business gives you discounts and special offers and your phone shares the information you allow it to, back to Tagtile, like your contact information, and a little more if you let it.
Business Insider suggests that the Tagtile deal was an acqui-hire. A posting on Tagtile’s website suggests that Tagtile won’t continue the way it has been once they join Facebook. This is similar to the Gowalla deal, not the Instagram deal. Zuckerberg quickly let people know that Instagram would function as is, for now. Gowalla on the other hand officially shut down during SXSW as the founders and team relocated to Palo Alto to work on Team Facebook.
Tagtile hasn’t said how many merchants they have using the Tagtile cube or how many users have downloaded the app however they did say that Tagtile will continue to work the way it has, again for now…
The biosphere went into a frenzy when a story broke about Robert Collins. Collins had been laid off from his job as a correctional officer in the state of Maryland.
In 2010 Collins was invited to re-apply for his job back. That’s when things got interesting. Collins said that the interviewer asked him, for not only his Facebook page information but his login credentials as well.
Since had been out of work and needed his job back he felt he had no choice but to comply with the interviewers request. Before giving up his login information he did inquire about the reasoning behind this odd request.
More after the break