Pyro.TV brings online video to Facebook

29 08 2007

Online video aggregator and rich media publisher Vibe Solutions has integrated its Pyro.TV portal with Facebook, offering the social network’s 24 million users access to a range of video content from networks such as ABC, NBC, Comedy Central and CNN.

Facebook users can embed a version of the Pyro.TV player in their profile and customise channel line-ups.

The development follows last month’s announcement that Pyro.TV had partnered with video search engine Blinkx.

In related Facebook news, online measurement firm Hitwise reveals that the social network is now the 10th most-visited site in the U.K. and is ranked 20th when it comes to diverting onward traffic to retail sites.

Ads don’t get more contextual than this

23 08 2007

The Wall Street Journal today reports on plans under development by social network Facebook to launch ads based on information revealed on the site by its users.

While the article states that the plan is currently at an early stage, it has become the company’s # 1 priority, with an initial rollout as early as autumn, presumably in reaction to Google beefing up its own designs on monetising YouTube.

The new service would let advertisers visit a Web site to choose a much wider array of characteristics for the users who should see their ads — based not only on age, gender and location, but also on details such as favorite activities and preferred music, says the WSJ. Facebook would use its technology to point the ads to the selected groups of people without exposing their personal information to the advertisers.

The report continues, next year, Facebook hopes to expand on the service, one person says, using algorithms to learn how receptive a person might be to an ad based on readily available information about activities and interests of not just a user but also his friends — even if the user hasn’t explicitly expressed interest in a given topic. Facebook could then target ads accordingly.

Most potently of all: Facebook’s plan, if it works, could be potentially powerful for advertisers. While Google’s keyword-targeted ads aim at “demand fulfillment” — that is, they are triggered by Internet searches conducted by people who are actively looking for something that they want — Facebook’s new ad plan could help advertisers address an area called “demand generation.” This involves using available information — not just from a user but also the activities and interests of his “friends” on the site — to figure out what people might want before they’ve specifically mentioned it.

Bebo becomes U.K.’s favourite social network

17 08 2007

ComScore has released its U.K. internet traffic figures for July, showing visits to Bebo up 63% from the beginning of 2007, making it the most visited social network site in Britain. While Bebo tops last month’s rankings, it’s the growth of rival Facebook which is more astonishing: up 366% from the start of the year.

Social networks and the social divide

30 06 2007

“A long-term research project has revealed a sharp division along class lines among the American teenagers flocking to the social network sites,” reports BBC News. Citing research by PhD student Danah Boyd from the School of Information Sciences at UC Berkeley, the study suggests “those using Facebook come from wealthier homes and are more likely to attend college. By contrast, MySpace users tend to get a job after finishing high school rather than continue their education.”

“Ms Boyd also found far more teens from immigrant, Latino and Hispanic families on MySpace as well as many others who are not part of the “dominant high school popularity paradigm”.

“MySpace has most of the kids who are socially ostracised at school because they are geeks, freaks, or queers,” Ms Boyd said.