This Week In Facebook: October 25, 2009

Last week was another busy week for Facebook. Of most significance was that Facebook rolled out a new homepage toward the end of the week. As I wrote over the weekend, the response has been mixed as users adjust to the automatically filtered News Feed. There are also a number of other stories this week related to Bing, Farmville, an upgraded giftshop and more.

Bing Announces Facebook Status Integration

At the Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco last week, Microsoft announced that they would begin integrating Twitter and Facebook statuses into their search. While Twitter support launched immediately, Facebook status integration is a couple months behind. While there was no financial incentive for Facebook to open up access to their status updates, Microsoft and Facebook already have a long standing relationship for search.

Google and Twitter are also working together on a service to integrate Twitter results into their search service, however its not live yet. While Facebook was rumored to be working with Google on something, no official announcement was made.

Facebook Launches New Ad Manager

Toward the beginning of the week, Facebook announced that they would be launching an upgraded version of their ad manager. The new ad manager includes the ability to search campaigns, edit campaigns and ads on the fly, the ability to edit ad creatives, and more. The new ad manager began rolling out at the beginning of the week and should be accessible to everybody soon.

Facebook Starts Rolling Out New Gift Shop

Over the past couple months we’ve been covering the integration of applications into the Facebook gift shop. As of last week that news became official with the new gift shop being gradually rolled out over the coming weeks. Also included in the news was that Lala would be providing MP3 gifts for users that they could send to their friends. The music could be downloaded by the gift recipient and friends can each listen to the track once after which they will be able to be able to play 30 second samples.

Farmville Surpasses 60 Million Monthly Users

Farmville, the largest Facebook application ever, continues breaking new records as it surpassed 60 million monthly active users for the first time. At the time, I suggested that Zynga could eventually come close to matching Facebook’s own revenue. While Zynga is rumored to be halfway to Facebook’s 500+ million in revenue this year, it will be a while before Zynga matches Facebook’s revenue. That’s not to say it isn’t possible though and with continued growth, Zynga has become the crown jewel of the Facebook platform.

Facebook Rolls Out A New Homepage

The most significant story of last week was that Facebook rolled out a new homepage for all users. The highlights have now been moved to the main News Feed and stories previously removed from the highlights have returned to the feed. The reviews have been mixed as many users are still not used to the new design. It’s common that a segment of the user base gets annoyed with large changes by Facebook.

The new homepage design has made it much more difficult for application developers to expand their reach since users now need to click on “Live Stream” to view the unfiltered feed. We’ll be keeping an eye on metrics across the platform to see what the complete impact has been.



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