By now you should have noticed this latest addition to Facebook; a Trending topics bar on the Right hand side of Facebook, sorta similar to Twitter …..if you’re one of the lucky few that were chose for the initial trial run!
To me as a long-time user of Facebook, this is just as exciting as when they decided to join the #Hashtag bandwagon as per my article Facebook to introduce #Hashtags with emoticons, monetizing FB and making Open Graph Search Practical. This as announced on Thursday Morning, the 16th of January on Facebook’s Newsroom in Press Release titled Finding Popular conversations in Facebook.
Facebook’s new Trending Widget will be in the Upper Right hand corner of your Facebook page, with the Mobile Versions coming out at a date to be announced later. To me, a long time Facebooker snoop, this is another miss-step in my book for Facebook. They should have had that ready from the get-go and in my mind, is an indication that they still don’t see Mobile Social Media Networks as a serious threat. This despite the coming onslaught from Google+ in 2016 as I’ve predicted in Winter is Coming as Google+ is on a collision course to beat Facebook by 2016.
Facebook also has plans to roll out another service called Paper before the end of January 2014, where News from Traditional Media outlets that have Facebook Feeds will be placed so as to facilitate those who connect to Facebook to get the current news. This is a feature that I’m definitely hoping for, as I am currently having to subscribe to a huge list of Traditional News sources that inevitably get lost in the crush of posts and messages from friends.
To have an entire section of Facebook dedicated to just reading official News would make the term “Newsfeed” used by Facebook for one of the buttons on the top right sound more practical. Facebook may also use this to generate more Ad revenue from Newspaper Companies on Mobile Platforms, a growth area for Facebook’s concerned shareholder as noted in Facebook is Growing Strong with 1.15 Billion Active users in the Second Quarter of 2013 by being an additional outlet for them to get more subscribers to their paywalled websites.
Really and truly though, Facebook has no choice but to copy Twitter! They’re currently facing a rash of defections by Teenagers (ages 13 to 17) and Millennials (ages 18 to 28) to Mobile Social Networks such as WhatsApp, Twitter and now even BBM (Blackberry Messenger) that’s now even beating at WhatsApp very door as noted in WhatsApp popularity fading as BBM’s the most downloaded IM App on iOS.
Main reason: Teenagers and Millennials aren’t too cool with the idea of being on a Social Network that their parents can snoop on their ever post and embarrass them on Social Media by holding a placard stating likewise. They like the freedom of being able to post what they want and wherever and from whatever device, with smartphones and Tablets being their new playground.
A truism that runs deep for Teenagers and Millennials whether from the Developing World or the Developed World in this “Post-PC era”!
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