(Photo : Facebook)
Social Media Saturday: This week in social media was relatively quiet, except for one company: Facebook stole the show. Along with finally converting its entire site to secure HTTP, the company also rolled out embedded posts, moved some Facebook Home features to its main app, and may start rolling out 15-second ads.
Facebook also jumped into mobile games publishing this week and closed on Friday with a higher price than its initial public offering, based partly on gains in Facebook mobile.
A Very Facebook Social Media Saturday:
Probably the most interesting move by the social media giant this week was to announce that it was beginning to roll out Embedded Posts, a feature that rival Twitter is more known for. This change would open up Facebook to the rest of the internet world in a way that has not happened yet, even with Facebook's "public conversations," the hashtag feature which it also borrowed from Twitter.
Soon, people will be able to add public posts from Facebook to their blog or website. According to the Facebook announcement, "When embedded, posts can include pictures, videos, hashtags and other content. People can also like and share the post directly from the embed." You can also follow to subscribe to the Facebooker who originally posted the item, and click "See More" to expand the embedded post.
The company was quick to say that not all posts were embeddable, and thus spreadable to the rest of the web. "Only posts set to public can be embedded on other web sites." Facebook says that its working with CNN, Huffington Post, Bleacher Report, and other media publications to start embedding public Facebook posts, and the change will roll out to everyone else soon.
Home Away from Home
A few months ago, Facebook launched "Facebook Home," which was supposed to be the mother of all Facebook apps - almost an operating system, if you will. Along with that launch, it introduced the HTC First, a partnership with HTC to create the first Facebook phone. Both have not panned out quite how Zuckerberg had envisioned.
Now Facebook, according to TechCrunch, has started moving parts of Facebook Home to its main app. With the most recent Facebook update, you can replace the default lockscreen on your Android device with Home's Cover Feed. That brings photos and posts from your Facebook news feed to the lockscreen of your device.
Chat Heads, another Home feature, is available as part of Facebook's Messenger app. As these updates come to the more popular Facebook apps, expect Home to start to feel emptier and less necessary, and the company may just abandon it altogether. We'll see.
Security! And Games... And Ads?
The other few changes to Facebook this week were more about how things operate on the inside. First, Facebook has finally moved all Facebook users to HTTPS, the secure protocol for connecting to the social media site. They began offering HTTPS as an option two years ago, but now it's on by default. If this seems like a small accomplishment, Facebook assures you it is not: "Turning on https by default is a dream come true, and something Facebook's Traffic, Network, Security Infrastructure, and Security teams have worked on for years. We're really happy with how much of Facebook's traffic is now encrypted and are even more excited about the future changes we're preparing to launch."
This week on Tuesday, Facebook announced it was jumping into middle-range to small mobile games publishing with an initiative called "Facebook Mobile Games Publishing." Well, actually, the company won't be designing or supporting games from the ground up, but rather promoting certain games along different channels - targeting some users who already play games with suggestions of more to play. And it's doing it for a share of the revenue. The company is starting with 10 games publishers with 10 games, but if the program goes well, expect to see suggestions for select games that Facebook thinks you'd like to play in the future.
Finally, the last change to Facebook is a rumor more than an official announcement. According to the Guardian, while "Facebook is saying nothing officially," rumors are that the company is going to launch high-quality, television-like ads on the site. The rumored 15-second video ads would show up on Facebook users' news feeds. If that sounds annoying, just think of what advertisers are rumored to be expected to pay for the 15-second spots: $2.5 million. That's more than what advertisers spent for 15 seconds of ad time in the Super Bowl this year: advertisers were charged $3.8 million for an ad twice that long. The Guardian reports that Facebook will launch the service "later this year."
Facebook must be doing something right with all of these changes. This Friday, the company closed on Wall Street with the highest share price ever since its first day of trading - $38.05, which is just below the $38.27 that it the stock closed at over a year ago on the first day of its IPO.