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Facebook Camp Toronto 3

I had the opportunity to go to Facebook Camp 3 in Toronto earlier this week, whcih was well attended.  At the MaRS center, the room could accommodate 450 people, and it was standing room only.  Apparently over 2000 people tried to register for the event. 

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Some of the presentations that I found interesting included the opening presentation.  Here is Roy Pereira comparing Canadian facebook usage to the rest of the world. 

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Facebook Pages Case Study

This was a short case study of how Mitsubishi used social media to promote the Lancer evolution, a new sports car.  The car is targeted at a 28 year old male demographic, which made it a good choice for social media.  The designers of the campaign chose to build presence on Youtube, Facebook and Flickr. 

The campaign was inexpensive, and rapidly generated results.  It cost just $1300 to build, and accumulated 1300 fans within 3 weeks, generated 17384 page views in the same time.  1300 self identified enthusiasts for a car for $1300?  Pretty effective!

Facebook + bebo

This presentation was for developers considering Bebo.  Key takeaways for me?  The Bebo API may be Facebook, but it's still going to be work to get there.  There's no Javascript, different FBML/HTML, and new screen dimensions to work with.  Apps may port more easily to Bebo, but it's not going to be a walk in the park.The other comment that was made was that the Bebo API is pretty rough right now as well.

Be prepared to do some pioneering.

This is Colin Smillie standing in front of a chart showing various social networks penetration in various places in the world.

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Facebook vs. OpenSocial

This was one of the more useful sessions for me.  OpenSocial is making waves in the social networking world, but how is it different?  Well, it's probably more properly referred to as OpenWidgets, since the API has no way to access the social graph.  In addition, the big promise — write once, run anywhere — isn't there yet.  However, it does give you more options to monetize your widget with Adsense than Facebook does. 

Here's Jawad Shuaib presenting a map of the world showing penetration into various countries, by social network.

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Dave Morin was the big presenter of the evening.  Having flown in from Facebook headquarters in California, he gave a good overview of the development of Facebook and the platform. 

Some choice tidbits in the presentation included the fact that they process 100 billion news feed stories per day (!), of which about 1% actually make it to the feed. There was a lengthy couple of slides on strategy as well, talking about how they intend to expand Facebook's footprint beyond Facebook so that you will be able to "take your social graph with you wherever you go".  That should be interesting to watch play out. 

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After Dave's talk he answered questions.  Naturally, there were lots, as this photograph of folks lined up at the microphones suggests.

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Questions that I found interesting:

He committed that they would fix forced invites through policy or code. "We don't like them either".

Facebook mobile's SMS footprint is just North America and the UK today, but they're working to expand that.

They continue to focus on privacy.  With Beacon they learned a lot. It's now completely opt-in, and they will pay more attention to these issues in the future as they roll out updates. 

And speaking of Beacon, Radiant's Jay Goldman gave a talk on how Beacon has evolved right after Dave.  It was a good explanation, and in Jay's estimation, Beacon is ready for us all to use now.

After that came the demos, and then pints at Pogue Mahoney's.

I found the event engaging and valuable.  Thumbs up! Facebook Group here.  

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