This Week In Facebook – January 24, 2010

This past week was a fairly big week for Facebook with the Haiti earthquakes and a few new features the service rolled out – most notably, post analytics. Farmville, the most popular Facebook game on the platform, also achieved some new milestones. Here’s a rundown of the biggest Facebook stories from the past week.

Facebook Launches Post Analytics, But Questions Arise Regarding Their Usefulness

Facebook’s Mark Cowan was the first to announce the post analytics feature at a presentation made in Poland, and it was undoubtedly quite exciting for page administrators looking to measure fan engagement. Real-time ad targeting was also announced at the presentation.

Just a few days later, post analytics indeed did go live, allowing administrators to see information on impressions as well as feedback. Feedback tracks the percentage of users that take action on a given item. Obviously, these two statistics are very important for tracking post impact and how many are engaged with the content.

If you are wondering if these new statistics are actually useful, Nick O’Neill created a post covering this topic titled “Do Post Insights actually provide more insight for administrators?

Farmville Achieves Popularity Milestone (And A Parody Video In The Process)

Yes, it’s hard to believe, but Farmville is now more popular than Michael Jackson, at least from a fan page standpoint. The fan page, which now has in excess of 14,800,000 fans, has post “like” numbers in the tens of thousands – signaling that their fans are active and interested in the page content.

A Farmville video emerged on YouTube that went viral, showing just how ridiculous the game could be. If you haven’t seen it yet, make sure to check it out!

User Emails Now Available To Facebook Developers

A bit of controversial news emerged this week – Facebook developers are now allowed to ask for user’s email addresses. This is fairly significant news as it could result in an increase in unwanted or spam emails from Facebook applications if a user provides his/her email address. It wasn’t greeted with open arms here on AllFacebook, either, so it remains to be seen how Facebook users react in the future as users discover this change.

Facebook Begins Building Their Own Data Centers

Yes, Facebook is an absolutely massive platform, and continues to grow by the day. This past week, Facebook announced that they would begin building their own data centers. More details on these can be found on Jonathan Heiliger’s Facebook blog post. The new data centers are energy-efficient and environmentally friendly, and the first one will be located in Prineville, Oregon.

Facebook Profile Pictures To Be Resized

While most users probably won’t be significantly affected by the change, it’s still worth nothing that Facebook is planning to resize profile pictures and photos. If you implemented Rob Banagale’s tips and tricks to modifying your profile picture, you may need to readjust your picture after the changes are made. The changes to profile pictures probably signals that an upgrade for Facebook’s Photo application is in the near future as well.

Haiti Support Rampant On Twitter After Earthquake Disaster

The Haiti disaster was one of the worst to happen in decades, and Facebook users took to the website to express their support. A five-minute moment of silence was held in remembrance of all of the people who tragically lost their lives in the Haiti earthquakes. In addition, a survey completed by Facebook and Nielsen brought some encouraging numbers to light – 39% of Facebook users in the United States, United Kingdom and Australia donated to the Haiti Earthquake relief efforts. You can view the results of the survey here.

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