This Week In Facebook – January 17, 2010

There were several notable stories from the past week regarding Facebook and competitors’ websites. The biggest was the confirmation of Facebook’s traffic record from December – 132 million total U.S. uniques. In addition, competition towards Facebook Connect continued to expand with Google and Twitter taking strides. Here’s a rundown of the biggest stories from the last week.

Facebook Launches Their Version Of Retweets

There was a new milestone in Facebook’s ongoing Twitterfication when on Friday the company began rolling out a “via” feature. When users repost articles that have been posted by their friends, Facebook automatically generates a reference to the person who posted the article.

Facebook Boxers Campaign Attempts To Copy Success Of Bra Color Campaign

Noting the success of the bra color campaign from the previous week, a Facebook boxers campaign was quickly started up in an attempt to raise awareness for prostate cancer. Instead of posting color, users were encouraged to post the type of underwear they wear. As Nick noted, copycat campaigns that follow are often unsuccessful. Have you seen a status update with a single kind of men’s underwear lately?

132 Million U.S. Visitors New Monthly Traffic Record In December

Anyone who says Facebook is not a popular site must be living under a rock. In December of 2009, Facebook saw 132 million unique U.S. visitors – the highest tally in the site’s history (according to Contrary to popular belief, people still access Facebook over the holidays. Facebook was the number one visited site in the country on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Years’ Day. Search volume also saw an increase in December.

Facebook has to be encouraged by this latest report, as they gained 4,000,000 more uniques from November to December!

Users Can Now Reply To Comments Via Email

Non-smartphone users, rejoice! Facebook now allows users to reply to comments through email clients. The seemingly-minimal implementation of the functionality is just another step by Facebook to make their platform more user-friendly. At this point, a user cannot reply to other features, but it seems reasonable that Facebook will eventually include email functionality for features sometime in the future.

A website that has demonstrated the benefits of email updates is Posterous. The micro-blogging service has established itself as a valuable, no-hassle website. If Facebook can expand their email updating functionality, the social networking site could really step up the site membership just from the ease of updates.

Free McAfee Antivirus Software For All Facebook Users

Become a fan of McAfee on Facebook, and you’ll be given a pretty sweet download. Joining the fan page will allow a Facebook user to download a free six-month subscription to McAfee’s Antivirus Software.

The goal – to convert users who take advantage of the free software to eventual paid customers after the free period is over. Regardless, if you want to take advantage of the offer, head on over to the fan page and become a fan!

Facebook Connect Gets Competition

Last week, we saw Google Friend Connect expand to two CMS platforms, Joomla and Drupal – a significant step in expansion of the Friend Connect system. Just three days later, TechCrunch reported that Twitter is working on a connect system of their own, which is expected to compete directly with Facebook Connect as well.

It will be interesting to see the effect of Twitter’s new connect system on Facebook’s Connect system. Obviously, both Facebook and Twitter have a significant amount of users. It remains to be seen if users on both social networking platforms will choose one or the other, or use a mix of both when visiting websites that require a login.

MySpace Implements Facebook Connect

According to Inside Facebook, Facebook Connect is now showing up on MySpace – apparently, the first integration between the two social networking sites. MySpace, which once competed directly with Facebook as primarily a social networking site, is shifting their focus to music and entertainment. It should be interesting to see if niche-focused social networking sites (similar to MySpace) integrate Facebook Connect into their platforms.