The past week was a busy one for Facebook. As the company continues to expand both through acquisition and through organic growth, we will continue following it. As we post a fair number of stories each week, and also don’t post every single Facebook story from around the web on this blog everyday, I thought it would be valuable to list those stories that were most important. As such, here are the top 7 stories from the past 7 days starting with Monday August 10th:
1. Facebook Acquires FriendFeed
This was probably the biggest story of the week. Facebook acquired FriendFeed for a reported $47 million. While many will question how the valuation was determined, it was a big deal for both parties. FriendFeed has an extremely talented group of developers and has continued to roll out feature after feature, including a highly functional search feature. While FriendFeed may not have the large number of users that Twitter (40+ million) or Facebook (250+ million) has, the company had an extremely talented team.
2. Facebook’s Real-Time Search Goes Live
Following on the heels of the FriendFeed acquisition, Facebook announced that they would begin rolling out Facebook’s new search tool out of private beta. Some industry pundits described it as an attack on Twitter and other described it as an attack on Google. Whoever the company was attacking, it’s a huge upgrade from the previous version of Facebook search. While I highlighted the reduced volume of content in the new Facebook search (in contrast to Twitter), when Facebook rolls out their upgraded publisher which includes the “Everyone” option, I’m guessing that we’ll see a dramatic increase in volume.
3. Facebook Updates Terms, Bans Pay Per Status
On Wednesday Facebook updated their site governance documents to include a clause which outlaws the sale of status updates. More specifically, the terms stated that “you will not use your personal profile for your own commercial gain”. Also of significance was that Facebook included a new clause which appeared to disallow the creation of generic Facebook Pages. The new terms state that “Pages are special profiles that may only be used to promote a business or other commercial, political, or charitable organization or endeavor.”
4. Facebook Lite Leaked
On Tuesday evening, screenshots of Facebook’s new “lite” version began spreading around the web. Facebook claimed that the service was being used for people with a slower connection speed but many people saw it as an attack on Twitter. While it may be quicker to access, it’s also likely that users of Twitter will be more inclined to use the new “lite” version of Facebook whenever it is rolled out for the masses.
One interesting thing to note about “Facebook Lite” is that there doesn’t appear to be an area for application to integrate into the service. It will be interesting to see how this new version of Facebook evolves over the coming weeks and months.
5. Facebook Growing Twice As Fast As Twitter
Last week comScore released data suggesting that Facebook was now growing twice as fast as Twitter. It was not only interesting data but it was impressive considering that Facebook is around 6 times larger than Twitter yet still growing at a faster rate. It may have also let a little air out of the Twitter hype bubble.
6. Facebook Announces New Inbox Integration For Developers
Earlier in the week, Facebook released a new version of their notification APIs as well as new inbox APIs. The Inbox API was more of an upgrade than a new feature. Mail attachments will now function the same as publisher attachments. For developers, access to the notifications API means more information about what other applications their users are interacting with.
7. Facebook For iPhone Submitted To Apple
Last night Joe Hewitt, the developer of the Facebook iPhone application, posted an update to let the world know that he had officially submitted the Facebook for iPhone application the Apple App Store. That means sometime this week we should be able to access the upgraded version of Facebook for iPhone. If you have the new iPhone 3GS, you’ll be able to upload video. Also users will finally be able to manage events.