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Facebook is completely rewriting their messaging product and is preparing to launch a fully featured webmail product in its place, according to a source with knowledge of the product. Internally it’s known as Project Titan. Or, unofficially and perhaps over-enthusiastically, the Gmail killer. Facebook messaging has been the bane of users’ existence for years. My first public gripe was in 2008 , when I said that urgent changes were needed. The biggest problem is simply deleting old emails.
If the $8.4 million raised yesterday by geo-social network Gowalla tells us anything it is that geo is red hot right right now. The trickle of geo apps is already turning into a flood. The latest example is Mobcast , an iPhone app ( iTunes link ) which adds lets you broadcast your location to your existing Facebook friends. Mobcast is like a combination of Foursquare and Google Latitude . Except you use your Facebook ID to sign in and there are no check-ins. You simply select which friends you want to “mobcast” to, and then they see your updates on a map.
Over the last six months just about all of my tech friends have started using Foursquare , a geolocation-based game that was built by the creators of Google-acquired Dodgeball. Some of them will literally pull out their phones as soon as they enter any restaurant, event or even TechCrunch HQ and check in just so they can be named ‘mayor’ of that establishment (whoever checks into any particular location the most times becomes mayor of that location). It’s fascinating and a bit bizarre to watch, and it clearly shows that Foursquare has tapped into something powerful. But all this time I’ve had a nagging feeling that Foursquare, at least in its current form, is not going to be the next Twitter , as some people have concluded.
PALO ALTO, Calif., and REDMOND, Wash. — Aug. 22, 2006 — Facebook and Microsoft Corp. today announced a strategic alliance in which the two companies will collaborate to bring relevant advertising to the more than 9 million registered users of Facebook, the Internet’s leading social directory. Microsoft’s advanced advertising technology and Facebook’s unique social network make possible the multiyear collaboration grounded in the two companies’ commitment to technological innovation. As part of the relationship, Microsoft will be the exclusive provider of banner advertising and sponsored links on Facebook using Microsoft’s digital advertising solutions and the Microsoft® adCenter platform. The two companies also agreed to work together on future technology and advertising initiatives.
Facebook has a lot of things going for them as they prepare to enter the geosocial fray. They have a half a billion users. They have a strong mobile presence, and a wonderful iPhone app.
We’re hearing from sources close to the deal that Facebook is in late stage negotiations to buy Hot Potato , the social activity service. The deal is not yet finalized from what we’re hearing, but could be at any moment. Terms of the deal are likely still be negotiated, but it’s believed that this would largely be a talent acquisition for Facebook. Yes, another one . Hot Potato raised a small $1.42 million Series A round late last year, so it should not be too expensive for Facebook to buy such a company.
The long-rumored geolocation "check-in" feature at Facebook is slated to debut within weeks, multiple sources familiar with the matter told CNET. It's going to take the form of an application programming interface (API) for third-party companies on the Facebook developer platform, integrating existing "check-in" start-ups more deeply into the massive social-networking service and in turn permitting location-aware data to become a part of existing platform applications. Facebook declined to provide much detail. "We are working on location features and product integrations, which we'll be launching in the coming months, and we'll share more details when appropriate," spokesman Larry Yu told CNET.
It will come as no surprise to readers of TNW Location that we’re just a tad bit skeptical of how well Facebook Places (or whatever it’s officially called when it launches – how many “Places” can the Internet take?) is going to pan out. Part of our skepitism has been associated with how long it has taken Facebook to get around to adding location. Well, today CNET reports that Facebook will start adding location to it’s developer API “within weeks”.
A week after rumors surfaced about Facebook’s acquisition of New York-based check-in-to-everything service Hot Potato , CNET’s Caroline McCarthy reports that the company’s long-awaited plan to enter the geolocation check-in space may finally be at hand. At a time when the social network is supposedly in lock-down mode , bracing for battle with Google’s supposed Facebook-killer, the debut of geolocation could give it an interesting edge. While specific details about the social network’s plans in the space are still speculative, McCarthy’s sources say it might be integrating existing check-in startups through their respective APIs in an effort to make location a key part of the service — effectively creating what GigaOm is calling ‘Facebook Places.’ What remains unknown is to what extent this integration will rely on third-party services like Foursquare, Gowalla, and Loopt, and whether Facebook has plans to add its own check-in function.
Facebook's new Places feature will overshadow services such as Foursquare and Gowalla, Pete Cashmore says. Facebook Places allows users to "check in" to hotspots and share their location with friends Foursquare and Gowalla will have to accept they are no longer the biggest game in town Now that social networkers can check in through Facebook, why would they go elsewhere? Editor's note: Pete Cashmore is founder and CEO of Mashable , a popular blog about social media. He is writing a weekly column about social networking and tech for CNN.com. (CNN) -- Facebook this week launched "Places," a service that allows any user to "check in" to restaurants, stores and other local businesses -- thereby sharing their location with friends. The new feature is virtually identical to the much-hyped location startups Foursquare and Gowalla , leading to the obvious question: Are these upstarts now doomed?
Let’s just pretend for a second that Facebook Places aka Facesquare is a charitable attempt on Facebook’s part to quell check-in fatigue by making nice with Foursquare , Gowalla, Booyah and Yelp (and not another attempt by Facebook to turn the world into this ). Because Booyah always throws people for a loop ( “Who the hell uses MyTown?” ) and Loopt’s 4 million users statistic always seems to shock people, we’ve posted this handy LBS comparison below. Water cooler tech forecasters should take note of Facesquare’s current lack of game mechanics. As a wise TechCrunch commenter once said , “Just because you don’t use it, or have never heard of it, doesn’t negate its market share.” Note: Data for all platforms except Facebook Places was last compiled in July 2010.
As we heard tonight, Facebook has officially launched Places, the social network’s location-based platform. We know what Places will mean for Facebook users. Users will be able to check-in to Places (created by both people and businesses) via the web or through mobile apps. And the feature has an API so partners like Foursquare, Gowalla, Yelp and Booyah can allow their users to check-in to Facebook’s places. But what does this mean for businesses? Interestingly, Facebook seems to actively be targeting advertisers on the network.
Today at an event at their headquarters in Palo Alto, CA, Facebook unveiled their new Places product — their location/check-in solution. Obviously, their entry in this space has been rumored for a long time — a very long time. But during the Q&A session, someone asked how long Facebook has actually been working on this Places product. Since December, one of the engineers in charge of the product replied. But he also revealed that there have been other “skunkworks” projects internally at Facebook surrounding location long before that. The past 8 months have just been specifically focused on what is now called Places.
Today at an event in Palo Alto, CA, Facebook unveiled its new Places product — essentially their check-in utility . Obviously, there has been a lot of talk about what this means for the current players like Foursquare and Gowalla. Well, Facebook is partnering with both of those guys. We hinted at this possibility a couple days ago . Representatives from both Gowalla and Foursquare were invited to take the stage at the event to talk about how they plan to leverage Facebook’s new Places API. Both will allow you to check-in and publish the data to your Facebook feed.