Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. 24/7 Space News .

Facebook steps into middle of smartphone lifestyles
by Staff Writers
Palo Alto, California (AFP) Nov 3, 2010

Facebook on Wednesday moved to become the heart of smartphone lifestyles by making it easy for people to find deals at nearby shops and connect with mobile software applications.

The world's top online social networking service updated its mobile platform to let people check into third-party applications with a click of a Facebook sign-in icon and also let them see bargains available at local businesses.

"There is obviously a lot of change in the mobile space," Facebook founder and chief executive Mark Zuckerberg said during a press event at the firm's headquarters in the California city of Palo Alto.

"There is also a revolution happening in the social space," he continued.

"You can rethink any product area to be social, where all interactions involve someone's friends... That makes some really big opportunities for new companies to get built and more industries to get disrupted."

Facebook is intent on being a platform for socializing done using applications on mobile phones, regardless of who makes the devices or the programs, according to Zuckerberg.

"There has been this rumor floating around recently that Facebook is going to build a phone... No," Zuckerberg said.

"Our goal is to make it so that no matter what (mobile phone) platform you are writing for, it can be social."

Two of the three announcements made by Facebook were aimed at software makers, with the social network eliminating the need to type in passwords for mobile applications and opening a location-based "Places" feature to programs crafted for smartphones running on Google-backed Android handsets.

A "Deals" feature unveiled by Facebook promised to resonate with users and businesses by tapping into location-sensing features of mobile phones to connect people with bargains at local shops, restaurants or bars.

Deals applications on smartphones would list promotions and other enticements nearby establishments post to lure customers.

"I see this as a game changer in the location-based services field," said Forrester analyst Augie Ray. "I think this advances Facebook's goals of being at the center of consumers' virtual worlds."

Facebook Deals comes as a threat to Foursquare, a popular service that lets people "check-in" at spots using smartphones and then letting selected friends know where each other are.

Facebook has more than 500 million users worldwide compared with approximately five million people at Foursquare, according to Ray.

Facebook is giving people incentives to check in by rewarding them with discounts or other rewards from local merchants.

"So many people have said there is no reason to check in at these location-based services," Ray said. "Now, there is a reason for moms, kids, or just about anyone to check in using Facebook."

Zuckerberg said that Facebook gets no money from promotions posted at Deals and that user privacy remained a priority.

Businesses can pay for ads to be posted at Deals pages, and if the service results in a deluge of promotions posted by local shops that could open the door for Facebook to charge for priority placement of offers.

"Once Deals is adopted there will be demand to differentiate deals," Ray said of the potential for Facebook to eventually make money from the service.

About 200 million people use Facebook mobile applications, according to Zuckerberg.

Facebook has been beefing up its team devoted to programs for Android smartphones.

The single sign-on feature for third-party applications is intended to deal with a lament that trying to type on tiny keypads on smartphones is so frustrating that people don't bother with programs.

"For the applications that are important to you, you are willing to go through the pain," Facebook mobile product manager Erick Tseng said.

"In an age where we measure Internet searches in milliseconds and we expect online video to start immediately, removing friction counts."

Online social computer game star Zynga and coupon service Groupon were among Internet services that had single sign-in features in place on Wednesday.

Launch partners for Facebook Deals included fast-food giant McDonald's and Starbucks coffee shop chain.

Facebook teams are working on making software developers kits to various handset platforms, with Android and iPhone as priorities.

Zuckerberg made it clear that iPad is not in its targeted line-up of gadgets.

"IPad's not mobile, it's a computer," Zuckerberg said. "It's a different thing. Sorry. I didn't mean to be rude to Apple; we love Apple here."


Related Links
Space Technology News - Applications and Research

Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

Oracle buying Art Technology for one billion dollars
New York (AFP) Nov 2, 2010
US business software giant Oracle announced Tuesday it was buying e-commerce software company Art Technology Group for one billion dollars in cash. Oracle is offering six dollars per share, a premium of 46 percent compared with ATG's closing price on Wall Street on Monday. ATG shares gained 45.12 percent in New York to close at 5.95 dollars on Tuesday. Oracle shares rose 1.38 percent to ... read more

New type of moon rock identified

Moon Express Enters $30 Million Google Lunar X PRIZE Competition

Dead Spacecraft Walking

Surviving Lunar Dangers

Mars Rovers Mission Using Cloud Computing

Mars Volcanic Deposit Tells Of Warm And Wet Environment

Opportunity Keeps On Driving To Endeavour Crater

Ancient Mars Was Wet, Cozy And Life Friendly

The Fading Final Frontier

Astronauts4Hire Offers Limited Time High Profile Sponsorship Special

Pioneering Science And The D1 Spacelab Mission

Interstellar Voyage Continues With New Project Manager

China Goes To Mars

China says manned space station possible around 2020

China Kicks Off Manned Space Station Program

NASA chief says pleased with 'comprehensive' China visit

Progress Docks On Auto

Cargo vessel links up with ISS after auto-docking problem

NASA Seeks More Proposals On Commercial Crew Development

EU mulls opening ISS to more countries

Ariane 5 Lofts Dual Birds

Payload Preparations Underway For Fifth Ariane 5 2010 Mission

Sea Launch Company Emerges From Chapter 11

Ariane 5 Rolls Out For Dual Bird Launch

e2v To Develop Image Sensors For PLATO Exoplanet Mission

Solar Systems Like Ours May Be Common

Astronomer Greg Laughlin To Talk About Earth-Like Planets

NASA Survey Suggests Earth-Sized Planets are Common

Samsung aims to sell 1 million Galaxy Tabs by year's end

Holographic video takes step forward with updated display

Facebook steps into middle of smartphone lifestyles

Space Fence Program Completes Critical Milestone

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement