Facebook App Center Launches Today in US

Today Facebook is launching the Facebook App Center to make it easier to find apps you can enjoy with your Facebook friends.

The new Facebook App Center features mobile and web apps, such as Draw Something, Pinterest, and Nike+ GPS, and new apps including Jetpack Joyride, Ghosts of Mistwood, and Ghost Recon Commander.

Discover the Best Apps For You

The Facebook App Center gives you personalized recommendations, and lets you browse the apps your Facebook friends use. It only lists high-quality apps, based on feedback from people who actually use the app.
Facebook App Center Launches Today

Install Mobile Apps

To make it easier to find social apps for mobile, the Facebook App Center is available in the Facebook iOS and Android apps, as well as Facebook.com.

You can send apps you find on your computer to your mobile device using the new “Send to Mobile” feature. If a mobile app requires a download, you’ll be sent to install it from the Apple App Store or Google Play.

Install Mobile Apps Facebook App Center

Easily preview Facebook Social Apps

Every app in the Facebook App Center has screenshots and a detailed description, so you can learn more about it before installing it. It helps you control your privacy by showing the information an app needs and letting you choose who can see your activity on Facebook. If you decide you want to use an app, you can get started directly from the Facebook App Center.

Facebook App Center Pinterest App

Get started

The Facebook App Center will begin rolling out to people in the U.S. today, with more than 600 apps. The Facebook App Center will be available to everyone worldwide in the coming weeks.

Watch a screencast of the Facebook App Center.

Consumers Using Pinterest to Engage With Retailers More Than Facebook, Twitter

One-Third of Smartphone Owners Who Shop Online Share Their Location With Retailers

Never before has social media been so attractive to consumers, literally. According to the 2012 Social and Mobile Commerce Study, a joint research project by Shop.org, comScore and The Partnering Group, the visually-appealing social media site Pinterest has become a big player in an even bigger arena, with online U.S. consumers reporting that they already follow an average of 9.3 retail companies on the site, compared to the average 6.9 retailers they follow on Facebook and the 8.5 retailers they track via Twitter. Overall, almost two out of five (38%) online consumers follow retailers through one or more social networking sites.

For retailers engaged in the social media sphere, customizing their approach with social and mobile strategies is leading to social commerce success. The report outlines that as social media continues to grow, retailers are actively evaluating where their customers want them to be. The survey found company blogs, YouTube and Facebook command the majority of consumers’ social activity. In particular, seven in 10 (70%) of those who follow a retailer’s blog click through to the website, and though sometimes overlooked in the overall social media mix, more than two-thirds (68%) of consumers use YouTube to browse and research a retail company.

“Retailers have done a commendable job embracing social media – engaging their customers where it makes sense while keeping their brand relevant, interesting, appealing and exciting on each platform,” said Shop.org Executive Director Vicki Cantrell. “Specifically, Pinterest has given retailers another channel to ‘listen’ to and interact with both existing and new customers, telling an ongoing visual story through images of their products and their brand ‘spirit’ – a story that customers can then tell again to their friends and family members.”

When it comes to what spurs consumers to follow retailers on social media platforms, the study found that finding good deals is still the leading reason, but that deals and promotions have lost a little bit of their luster. This year, 51 percent say they follow a retailer to get information on deals and coupons, down from 58 percent who said so last year. Four in 10 (43%) say they are looking for product information and 36 percent want to post/read comments about merchandise or services. Additionally, three in 10 consumers who follow retailers via social media say they are actively looking for information about events (34%), current trends and ideas (31%), or photos and videos (30%), such as “how-to’s” and styling ideas, as well as expert opinions (27%).

“There are significant new opportunities for retailers to entice smartphone owners who may be within a few feet of their store — or already in the store — thanks to technology that lets shoppers who want to hear from retailers instantly interact with them,” said Jennifer Vlahavas, Senior Director, comScore, Inc. “And while check-in and store location functionality are already gaining popularity, retailers have just begun to scratch the surface of using location data to better serve their customers. In-store shopping maps and customized shopping lists are a few of the emerging mobile technologies that promise to shape consumers’ future behavior.”

Smartphones Allow “Social Shopping” Experience for Consumers

Smartphone-toting Americans seem to have no qualms about sharing their location with friends and family members through social media channels, and the study finds they are also interested in sharing their location with retailers. One-third (33%) of those who own smartphones say they have shared their location with retailers. Location-based services, such as Groupon Now!, FourSquare and Facebook have effectively helped retailers instantly reach new and existing customers by targeting special offers, discounts and coupons to their mobile devices once they’ve “checked-in.”

“For retailers, the possibilities are endless when it comes to enticing smartphone owners who may be within a few feet of their store or even already in the store, thanks to technology that lets shoppers who want to hear from retailers instantly interact with them,” said Jennifer Vlahavas, senior director, comScore, Inc. “And while check in and store location functionality are already gaining popularity, retailers have only just scratched the surface of using location data to better serve their customers. In-store shopping maps and customized shopping lists are a few of the possibilities that will cater to the consumer.”

The study found that men are more likely than women to share their location with a retailer (40% vs. 25% respectively), and nearly half (46%) of those aged 18-34 say they have shared their location, compared to just two in 10 (22%) of those aged 35-54.

In very different ways, tablets and smartphones are still an integral part of the average person’s shopping experience these days. The survey found those with smartphones are most likely to use their device for social reasons, such as contacting friends and family about products they see and searching for items nearby, while tablets are more likely to be used to make purchases and comparison shop. Specifically, nearly four in 10 (37%) smartphone owners who shop online say they use their smartphone to take pictures of products and more than one-third (34%) said they send the pictures of the products they see to friends. U.S. online consumers surveyed also say they text/call friends/family about specific products while shopping (33%).

About the survey

The 2012 “Social Commerce Study” provides a unique look into the behaviors and attitudes of consumers regarding social media. The study covers consumer shopping activity and engagement via Facebook, Twitter, customer reviews on websites, group-buying sites and location-based social platforms. 1,507 online U.S. consumers participated in the survey which was conducted in March 2012 by comScore, Inc. The survey participants were selected to ensure that results were representative of the demographics of the U.S. online adult consumer. Results were weighted to accurately reflect U.S. demographics.

comScore, Inc. (NASDAQ: SCOR) is a global leader in measuring the digital world and preferred source of digital business analytics. For more information, please visit www.comscore.com/companyinfo.

The Partnering Group (TPG) is a global strategy and management consulting firm. Our mission is to build sustainable incremental value for leading retailers worldwide. For more than two decades, TPG has helped retail clients address their strategy, marketing, merchandising and supply chain challenges in order to maximize shareholder value. TPG’s ecommerce, omni-channel and digital marketing practice area is led by consultants with hands-on executive experience at retail. Learn more at www.thepartneringgroup.com.

Shop.org, a division of the National Retail Federation, is the world’s leading membership community for digital retail. Founded in 1996, Shop.org’s 600 members include the 10 largest retailers in the U.S. and more than 60 percent of the Internet Retailer Top 100 E-Retailers. It’s where the best retail minds come together to gain the insight, knowledge and intelligence to make smarter, more informed decisions in the evolving world of the Internet and multichannel retailing. Shop.org programs and activities include benchmarking research, events and networking communities.

It’s a Social World (Infographic)

Social Shopping 2012 Survey and Infographic


According to a recent Social Shopping Survery done by SteelHouse, Pinterest users are far more likely to purchase items they see posted on Pinterest compared to the purchasing behavior of Facebook users viewing items they’ve seen on the news feed or a friend’s wall.

Check out our their latest infographic to see their social shopping findings!

Social Mobile Infographic

 

Facebook Camera Launches

Today, Facebbook is launching Camera, a new mobile app that makes using Facebook photos faster and easier.

See Your friends’ Facebook photos all in one place

When you launch the camera app, you’ll see a feed of just great photos from the people you care about. You can swipe to see more of any album or tap to enlarge an individual photo.

Facebook Camera Launches

Share multiple photos fast

Now you can quickly share multiple photos all at once instead of having to post one at a time to Facebook. Just select the shots you want to share by tapping the check-mark on each photo and then hit post. You’ll have a chance to add a caption, say where you were and tag your Facebook friends before you share on Facebook.

Facebook Camera Launches Share Multiple Photos Fast

It’s also easy to edit photos with new tools like the ability to crop, rotate and add filters to any picture in your camera roll.

How to get Facebook Camera App

Camera will be available for iPhone starting later today. Get a link to the app  sent via sms to your phone or just search for ‘Facebook Camera’ in the App Store.

New Mobile App Helps Merchants Redeem Deal Vouchers Instantly

Group eCommerce Merchant Redeem Deal Vouchers App

Group Commerce Merchant App Launches

Ever wonder how merchants keep track of all the deal vouchers that come their way in the form of printouts, vouchers, and mobile app displays? A new app custom built by Haneke Design for Group Commerce Inc., the industry leading e-commerce platform built for the unique needs of publishers and merchants, just made that process a whole lot easier.

To ensure a great user experience, “we looked for a development partner for the Group Commerce Merchant app that had outstanding design and technical skills as well as an understanding of the mobile offers space,” said Jonathan Kind, implementation manager of Group Commerce, Inc. “The Haneke Design team understood our needs immediately and created a highly intuitive and elegant app that integrates perfectly with our platform.”

Available now for iPhone and iPad in the iTunes App Store, the Group Commerce Merchant app allows Group Commerce clients to quickly redeem vouchers presented by their customers at the point of sale. Instead of dealing with the hassle of checking off names on paper lists, merchants simply use their device camera to scan a voucher the customer presents on their mobile device or on paper. If no bar code is available, the merchant simply types the voucher code into the app.

Group Commerce needed the app to work regardless of whether an internet connection was available, since connections at merchant locations can be spotty or intermittent. Haneke designed the app so that once a merchant re-establishes an internet connection, it will synch and transmit the stored data. The redemption status of the merchant’s offers is immediately updated in Group Commerce’s Merchant Portal, eliminating the need for paper lists and ensuring accuracy.

“We’re very proud of this app and honored to have had the chance to work with Group Commerce and their team,” said Jody Haneke, president of Haneke Design. “Our belief is that apps that have the greatest utility and likelihood of use multiple times per day, if not all day long, are the ones that will be most relevant by making life easier for businesses and consumers. As our specialization in these types of applications grows, we are seeing how the role of apps is evolving and bringing that knowledge for the benefit of our clients and their customers.”

Facebook Announces Acquisition of Instagram

Instagram Acquired by Facebook

Facebook Acquires Popular Mobile App Instagram

Facebook announced today that it has reached an agreement to acquire Instagram, a fun, popular photo-sharing app for mobile devices. The total consideration for San Francisco-based Instagram is approximately $1 billion in a combination of cash and shares of Facebook. The transaction, which is subject to customary closing conditions, is expected to close later this quarter.

Mark Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of Facebook, posted about the transaction on his Timeline:

I’m excited to share the news that we’ve agreed to acquire Instagram and that their talented team will be joining Facebook.”

Zuckerberg goes on to say in the Facebook Official Statement:

“For years, we’ve focused on building the best experience for sharing photos with your friends and family. Now, we’ll be able to work even more closely with the Instagram team to also offer the best experiences for sharing beautiful mobile photos with people based on your interests. We believe these are different experiences that complement each other. But in order to do this well, we need to be mindful about keeping and building on Instagram’s strengths and features rather than just trying to integrate everything into Facebook. That’s why we’re committed to building and growing Instagram independently. Millions of people around the world love the Instagram app and the brand associated with it, and our goal is to help spread this app and brand to even more people.”

“We think the fact that Instagram is connected to other services beyond Facebook is an important part of the experience. We plan on keeping features like the ability to post to other social networks, the ability to not share your Instagrams on Facebook if you want, and the ability to have followers and follow people separately from your friends on Facebook.”

“These and many other features are important parts of the Instagram experience and we understand that. We will try to learn from Instagram’s experience to build similar features into our other products. At the same time, we will try to help Instagram continue to grow by using Facebook’s strong engineering team and infrastructure.”

“This is an important milestone for Facebook because it’s the first time we’ve ever acquired a product and company with so many users. We don’t plan on doing many more of these, if any at all. But providing the best photo sharing experience is one reason why so many people love Facebook and we knew it would be worth bringing these two companies together.  We’re looking forward to working with the Instagram team and to all of the great new experiences we’re going to be able to build together.”

About Facebook

Founded in 2004, Facebook’s mission is to make the world more open and connected. People use Facebook to stay connected with friends and family, to discover what’s going on in the world, and to share and express what matters to them.