Facebook Roundup: Foursquare, Development, Buddy Media, Zuck in Europe, Love, and More

Foursquare’s $80M Funding Deal, No Facebook Deal — Along with previous reports in a similar vein, AllThingsD reports that Facebook was very close to buying location-based check-in game Foursquare; instead, the startup is about to close an $80 million round from venture firm Andreessen Horowitz.

Zuckerberg Talks Growth – Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg spoke in Cannes, France at the 57th annual Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival to discuss his company’s growth this week. He said four markets — China, Japan, Korea and Russia — were vital to growing to its goal of 1 billion users. The path there is complicated and it’s not going to happen this year, he says; Russia’s sign ups double every six months, Facebook’s location features are coming out soon, privacy issues are still being evaluated and mobile doesn’t seem to be the magic ingredient for growth, either.

Photo Images Added to Notifications – Facebook has begun to display user images next to notifications at the top of the users’ Page — photos are a proven web design technique to improve engagement.

How Facebook Uses BitTorrent – Tom Cook of Facebook’s systems engineering group shared how Facebook uses peer-to-peer file-sharing service BitTorrent: “The internal Facebook swarm turns every server into a peer that helps in distributing the new code, which gets it updated as quickly as possible,” according to Torrent Freak. “Without BitTorrent this process could take several hours to complete.”

Notes on Facebook’s Growing Infrastructure – Facebook’s Vice President of Technical Operations Jonathan Heiliger spoke about the company’s growing infrastructure this week, primarily that the company should have planned better — even though it has successfully scaled along with extremely rapid growth. Thinking about scale early, replacing the way platform traffic is served, improving speed, contributing to open-source technologies and other lessons are discussed in the story from Gigaom, here.

Buddy Media Debuts +Global – Facebook Page management company Buddy Media added a new feature, +Global, this week, set to allow customers to publish custom fan Pages in multiple languages, as opposed to separate Pages for each country. The first company to use the feature is Starwood Hotels and Resorts, launching in the U.S., Spain, Germany and China. Buddy media has about 200 clients, is set for $20 million in sales this year and also works with Budweiser and the NHL.

Zuckerberg Meets With English PM – Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was in London this week to meet with the English Prime Minister David Cameron and Secretary of State for Culture and Media Jeremy Hunt. Zuckerberg praised the country’s Open Data initiative, oversaw the first official developer day, or hackathon, held outside of California and commented that about half of the Likes coming from Facebook’s new social plugins emanate from Europe. In particular Zuckerberg noted the interesting “civil or public-minded concepts” being worked on by the English, such as a service alerting people to service disruptions on the London Underground system and a site to help communities support and manage local projects.

Adknowledge Acquires Hydra Group – Adknowledge, a privately owned online ad network, acquired Hydra Group this week. Hydra Group is a cost-per-action performance marketing network and the combination of the two companies provides for access to more than 7,000 CPC and CPA offers. For the foreseeable future the Hydra brand will remain intact, operating along with Adknowledge’s CPC affiliate, Adstation; expect future integrations with Super Rewards, the company’s offer business on Facebook.

Nouns, Verbs Most Popular on Facebook – Dan Zarrella did an analysis of the types of words that generate the most shares on Facebook and found that nouns and verbs performed much better than adjectives and adverbs.

Get Tips on Facebook Photos – Nick Kelsh is a photographer and author of nine books, including several on how to photograph your child, is offering to help Facebook users. By uploading your child’s photo to Kelsh’s Facebook Page, one can receive advice on lighting, cropping, composition and other tips.

Facebook, Love Generate Similar Brain Activity – A neuroeconomist, Paul Zak, has found that social networking triggers our brain to release oxytocin, a chemical that makes us feel generosity, trust, affection and love. The very extensive profile can be found here.

Facebook Hoodie Explained – A symbol inside Mark Zuckerberg’s hoodie prompted jokes at the AllThingsD conference earlier this month that he was in a cult. Turns it was created by Ben Barry, who explained his motivations for his creation on the Q-and-A site Quora. He says he created the design after discussing it with Zuckerberg as part of a thank you gift to the company’s employees, focusing on Facebook’s core goals and looking towards the future. The design was inspired from old worker union labels and seals.

Vending Machine Trades Photos for Ice Cream – Unilever’s Wall’s ice cream created a unique way of marketing its product: Trading a photo of customers for a free ice cream. Using a “smile-activated” vending machine created by Sapient, the machine takes a photo of the customer and posts it to Facebook in exchange for a free ice cream. For videos and photos, click here.

Threadsy Uses Likes to Share – Threadsy’s goal is to put all of a users’ online communication, both email and social networking, into one inbox — with the help of Facebook’s Open Graph, specifically the Like feature. Essentially, the service provides a users’ public data to another user in the form of common interests.

TripAdvisor Uses Facebook for Travel Tips – TripAdvisor, an online open sourced travel site, is now using the Cities I’ve Visited application to allow Facebook users to give each other traveling tips.

Watch the Trailer for the Facebook Movie – This week saw the premiere of the movie trailer for “The Social Network,” based on the book The Accidental Billionaires about Facebook’s evolution from dorm room project to billion dollar global titan. Thus far the trailer is mostly just dramatic music and choice sound clips, but it’s still interesting to watch.