Posts Tagged ‘Facebook’

Importance of APIs in the World of Social Media

Tuesday, June 30th, 2020

You have probably heard of the acronym tossed around in recent years. API is the acronym for Application Programming Interface which is a set of instructions, standards, or requirements that enables a software or app to employ features/services of another app, platform, or device for better services. Concisely, it’s something that lets apps communicate with each other. One of the major aspects of API is that it has made the internet experience much more pleasant for every person. The acronym has helped you compare the best prices for flights, allowed you to embed a map into your store’s website, and even seamlessly processed your credit card payments. If you want to explore more of it, then this blog will give an overview of APIs and how they relate to social media platforms.

Role of APIs for Social Media

Social media has exploded in recent years. Today, the number of people on social media has grown to nearly 3 billion, and the numbers are projected to continue their upward trend. As we know, there are numerous platforms, from Facebook, Instagram to Twitter, Imgur to Foursquare, and more, cater to a remarkable range of digital interactions to people around the world. 

APIs make social media possible and they are crucial to successfully exchanging all of this information and delivering the experience that users expect. Without APIs, it would be difficult for your website to link your Facebook page or Twitter account to your website or to combine your Google Plus account to your blog posts in order to promote your authorship reputation. In like manner, you will not be able to use the Google Analytics tool in auditing and optimizing your e-commerce website for better search performance. The social media marketing tools that are used in encouraging businesses are powered by APIs. As far now, there are many marketing values that are derived from social media APIs which include but not limited to the following:

  • Showing ad campaigns to your site as a publisher.
  • Application development to expand the benefits of using marketing tools.
  • Displaying social media buttons to optimize the social shares of your post.
  • Seamless launching of an email marketing campaign using APIs for customer subscription lists and ad campaigns.
  • Tracking down the data analytics information from your website to the analytic monitoring tool or software.

Big Examples of Social Media API Functionalities

As mentioned above, APIs are being used in countless ways by every social media platform today. Here are a few popular examples:

Facebook Graph API:

At present, Facebook is the world’s largest social media platform, with more than 2.4 billion active users worldwide. The Facebook Graph API is an HTTP-based API that provides the main way of accessing the platform’s data. Third-party developers and creators use this tool to retrieve information such as username, email, birthday, and hometown of users. Besides, popular chains such as Subway and Starbucks use the Graph API to collect user information to assist in their marketing and advertising strategies.

Twitter Ads API: 

The Twitter API mainly allows you to add Twitter functionalities to your application. Moreover, the Twitter Ads API is a key part of their business; it not only helps promote Twitter accounts but also allows organizations to launch their scheduled advertising campaigns. With the help of API, marketers can reach out to people of a certain age group from a certain city. From one ad account, an organization can roll out about 200 active advertisement campaigns.

Imgur API: 

Imgur is another amazing social media platform where people share entertaining images. It has a global user base with high engagement, and these users are particularly interested in technology, video games, food, and music. Brands outside of Imgur can utilize its API functionality to expose these users to new gaming and tech items and products. Currently, Imgur offers its third version of APIs which use OAuth 2.0. Therefore, you won’t have to encrypt your requests, but simply send them to https:// via SSL/TLS. 

LinkedIn API:

LinkedIn can be described as the world’s number-one social network for business users. It was established in 2003, and currently serves millions of users in more than 200 countries worldwide. LinkedIn also offers API access to developers (RESTful), so that all contacts, jobs, relationships, companies, and interactions would be displayed by third-party providers. Likewise, there are many more: Instagram, Reddit, Snapchat, and other social media brands all have created APIs. These APIs will act as potent technologies supporting the ever-expanding promise of social media.

Conclusion

With the aforementioned information, I hope you will find an API that you can use to add versatile social engagement capabilities to your applications! For more information, you can connect with our business consultants. 

What made your favorite social networking site Google+ go down?

Friday, January 24th, 2020

Eight years after it launched Google+ with much fanfare, Google shut down its social network in April this year. Though the announcement to shut down Google+ comes after it was found that a bug that was present for more than two years led to the exposure of data of millions of users to external developers , Google+ was already dying.

And this is not the first time a social network has to be shut down.

In 1997, the first social networking site was launched, SixDegrees.com. At its peak, the site had around 3.5 million registered users. The platform was simple; users could send messages and share content by posting on bulletin boards. The network shut down just four years later in 2001.

Remember Orkut? Orkut was launched in 2004 by a Turkish software engineer and Google employee, Orkut Büyükkökten. Orkut was the result of the search giant’s failure to buy Friendster. Orkut, while not much of a success in the US, proved big in Brazil and India, its two key markets. Orkut had 19 million users in India and 34 million in Brazil when it lost the top spot to Facebook. Google finally shut Orkut on September 30, 2014. This site had a much longer tenure than SixDegrees but still ended up in the grave in 2014.

Another fallen giant was MySpace. It may be hard to imagine how big MySpace was. In 2006, it beat Yahoo and Google to become the largest website in the US by page views. Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp had bought it the previous year for $580 million. Its valuation shot up to a staggering $12 billion in 2007 when it had 300 million users. But it was all downhill for the site from there as Facebook closed the gap with MySpace and became the largest social networking site. News Corp sold MySpace in June 2011 for just $35 million.

Obviously, social media has come a long way since then, and we’ve seen many social media platforms launch, experience relative success (or complete failure), then crash and burn a few short years later. While these sites went down, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Reddit have only seen upward graphs. So where did these companies lose the plot?

Why did they fall?

Facebook, the most popular social network on Earth, has over 2 billion users. Instagram has over 1 billion. If Facebook were a country, it would be the most populous in the world. This network shows no sign of slowing down, it seems the only limit left to its growth is the number of people on Earth who have access to the internet — something they are actively working on increasing.

So, why has Facebook succeeded where others have failed? What does Facebook have that MySpace and Friendster did not? For starters, Facebook maintained its scale as waves of users signed on and created accounts. Facebook focused more on the user offering unique features to connect and expand your circle while keeping in touch with older friends. Creating a timeline with life events, photo albums, videos, check-ins, events, and social gaming was something never seen before in the social networking space and contributed to the explosive growth and popularity of Facebook. Later on, support for businesses and marketplaces which gives them the opportunity to expand and attract customers also made sure that Facebook didn’t become redundant.

One aspect of Friendster’s downfall was that it was unable to keep up with how many members joined the site. As more people joined, the site grew slower and slower, so slow that people were forced to switch to Facebook or MySpace.

MySpace failed because it connected users to bands, celebrities, and strangers, rather than people you knew in real life. People wanted to interact with their friends and family to enhance and expand their existing social lives onto the internet.

iTunes Ping fell apart. Google+ offered integration with Gmail, hangouts, Drive and also introduced Circles, something which was new in the space but didn’t strike a chord with the potential user base. Users already had Facebook to accomplish anything that Ping and Google+ offered.

What is the takeaway from all this?

Staying Relevant

1. Successful social networks are original. New networks will not survive if they simply copy the concept of an existing service. They must build upon the services by fulfilling a need of the users, or introduce something entirely new that users did not even know they wanted.

2. Successful network scale. As social networks grow, they must be able to accommodate the influxes of new users. When platforms start to slow down and falter due to increased use, people will leave due to frustration.

3. Successful social networks evolve. As user bases grow, so do the wants and needs of those users. When platforms fail to address the feedback of their members, they provide an opportunity for another platform to step in and fulfill that need.

The Future of Social Networking

With the demise of Twitter and SnapChat looming on the distant horizon, the future of social media is up in the air. Facebook and Instagram will continue to dominate the market, but neither service offers everything that a citizen of the social realm looks for.

Facebook is great for news articles, updates from friends, and memes, but the enormous amount of content is overwhelming, and ads take up a lot of space in Newsfeeds.

Reddit is great for anonymity and non-censorship while sharing content but lacks the social part of media.

Instagram is the perfect medium for sharing photo and video but is an awful place to post a quick text update to your friends.

Facebook To End Android Dependency: Here’s How

Thursday, January 23rd, 2020

The social media scenario has been developing over the years. The beginning was with Google’s hangout, then came along Orkut and along that line came the creation of Mark Zuckerberg. Yes, you are right! We are talking about Facebook.

This online social directory became available first to the students of Harvard and later, to anyone who claimed to be of at least age 13. This rule was in place since 2006 and still ongoing. Any person with an account on Facebook can share digital content; it can be text, photo, and other multimedia files in their profile. They can have conversations with other people who are their “friend”, comment on other persons’ posts and even have one-on-one chats. There are several in-built apps that can also be used to complete different tasks or serve specific purposes.

Climbing into stardom

The rise of Facebook to become “the” social media was not slow but not instant either. After changing the name from “The Facebook” to just “Facebook” in 2005, this social media channel was opened to the general public in 2006. Within the year 2009, the company had 350 million users joining in its list and in the summer of 2012, the number finally rose to the magic number of 100 million. By the end of 2018, the number had grown to 2.32 billion, which is more than half of the world’s population and they are all present in the program written in the Harvard dorm room. In 2019, the numbers are becoming less, but with an average of 52%, Facebook is still the top contender in social media sites. However, the introduction of sites like Instagram, Twitter decreased its popularity. Another favorite social media messaging service called WhatsApp has been recently acquired by Facebook. Still, novel services like Snapchat are gradually making their presence felt. However, the company is taking the necessary step to address this particular issue.

The range of devices

Unlike the programs of its predecessor companies, Facebook did not need the user to download or install any installer file in their device. Although in the time when the only digital device was computers, only an internet connection was sufficient to connect and use the social media program. Nowadays, with the advent of smartphones, tabs and other handheld digital devices, it has become necessary to download the app onto the device. Thereafter, the user has to input their information and can access their profile. In the case of security measures, the program or “app” in the new OS vernacular has made some major changes to ensure the security of the user data. Certainly, maintaining an appealing UI is a priority to drive user engagement that both Android and iOS have their own restrictions around. Still, in recent cases, the company has faced some serious problems in the matters of fake accounts, fake posts, and information with a debatable source. Facebook has employed third-party companies to perform the fact-check and other necessary data.

The operating systems

The main limitation the company was facing from the start was the dependence on other operating systems. From the start, it was either accessed from mainly Windows or the Macintosh operating system. When the era of the smartphone or handheld devices came into existence, it was either Android or the specific operating system of Apple Inc, the iOS. Being dependent on these operating systems posed two specific problems:

  1. The coding and the necessary programming tasks become complex when it comes to two different operating systems. Moreover, if only the example of the Android is taken, the OS essentially dictates Facebook about the hardware requirement it will need. Having to depend on a third-party OS makes it impossible to add features because it may or may not suit the specification requirement allowed by the OS.
  2. Facebook has been developing devices like Oculus, and voice-calling services like Portal, which are essentially the development of Facebook. Having to depend on the operating system like Android practically determines that the company cannot add necessary hardware as it may clash with the inherent limitations of Android. Furthermore, the development of new versions or upgrades of this operating system will force the social media company to change the specification of its devices every time, adding to the production and implementation costs.

To cope up with these problems and ensure the independence of its programs and devices from the operating systems of other parties, Facebook has announced that it is now going to build its own operating system from the scratch. According to the general pulse, this step was eventually coming, but the effect on the market and among its users is yet to be seen.

The changeover to its own

The bid to stand on its own two legs in terms of an operating system was abuzz in the grapevine of the computer technology world, and the news was confirmed by the company itself later. Facebook told its users and the general public worldwide that it is appointing one of the creators and developers on Microsoft’s Windows NT OS, Mark Lucovsky. The step taken was supported by the Vice President of Hardware, Facebook, and confirmed in the statement that the company is seriously considering the fact that the future generation should have space for them. In the light of dependency on third-party systems, especially operating systems, it may not be possible for Facebook to achieve the target in terms of penetration and digital presence. For that reason, they are thinking of doing it on their own.

Expert’s opinion

According to the experts also, this step was in the pipeline for some time. Development of VR devices, Other machines like Oculus, a voice-calling feature like Portal, and even the AI-enabled program the company is developing, depending upon OS by Google, or any other company would have been limiting. For one, the developments had to be done according to the changes happening to the OS, and secondly, the hindrance of faster development in the case of Hardware would surface; as the Other OS may not be compatible with the hardware specification of the new development by Facebook.

Signing off

The development of a new OS is certainly exciting to Facebook users, however, there are other factors to consider too. In the future, although not certain, Facebook can become the next Apple, where you have to buy their devices to enjoy their programs. With the world’s majority using android by Google and the number still increasing, the outcome of the project and the decision of the company regarding it will determine the fate of this development.

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