The thing about Facebook is that it always seems to be doing something new. We all know about the latest updates to security, the newest features, and the deals being made with other companies to integrate Facebook into other applications. It’s like that old saying about moss not gathering on the rolling stone, except here the rolling stone is Facebook and there is no moss, dust, or complacency growing on that company.
Just this morning, I noticed three articles on Facebook’s activities: Vonage users can now call their Facebook friends for free, there has been an update to their Android app, and there is an increase in Advertiser spending on Facebook.
A friend of mine, who is a stay at home mom, will be pleased with the Vonage change. She just said to me today, “In the past, stay at home moms watched soap operas and called each other, now we text and use Facebook and message boards.” The new deal with Vonage is a step to integrating telephone usage and general internet usage. Vonage Holdings CEO Marc Lefar describes it this way: “The Vonage Mobile app for Facebook is a tangible example of our commitment to deliver extraordinary value and a better communications experience for individuals and their social networks, across broadband-enabled devices, around the world. This is just the start. In the future we will expand on this service to include a wide range of integrated voice and messaging services that change the way people communicate.” The new Facebook app is free and available for iPhone, iPod Touch and Android devices; it also works over Wi-Fi and 3G/4G networks, all of which makes Facebook and your friends list even more usable.
The Android app has also been . updated recentlyThe updates include a homescreen that allows users to post their status updates or search for friends with a single click, easier viewing of photos and videos from friends on your News Feed, and a Notifications drawer to allow users to see if a friend has posted a note on your wall, commented or liked a post, or tagged you in photos. The Android app update includes video playback, support for events, and the ability to respond to friend requests without leaving the application. A Facebook spokesperson said, “Facebook Mobile is always looking to bring new and innovative ways for people to stay up-to-date and connected with their friends and family. The latest version of the Facebook for Android application was updated to include popular features, as well as new ways to browse and explore multimedia content.”
With new updates to the main site, updates to mobile interaction with Facebook, and partnerships with other large communications groups, it is no wonder that Facebook finds itself with a lot of advertising money. As Doug Caverly reports, “COO Sheryl Sandberg indicated in an interview that some large organizations have increased their spending ten- or twentyfold in the last year.” Advertising money is a good indication that Facebook is doing something right.