Key Points From FacebookCamp Toronto 5

Over the last couple of years, Facebook has developed from an interesting, promising social network startup to a true powerhouse. Interest in the site has grown exponentially and every move it makes is closely scrutinized. Given this, I was excited to attend FacebookCamp Toronto 5 on February 24.

First up on the night was Facebook representative Matt Wyndowe. His presentation focused on an update on Facebook’s overall status, then a quick overview of the benefits of Facebook Connect.

Facebook Stats

  • Facebook’s rate of growth is increasing exponentially;
  • 175 million people logged-in to Facebook in the last 30 days;
  • The average Facebook user has 120 friends; in Canada that is higher – 150-200;
  • One in two Canadians are now on Facebook;
  • Half of those Canadians are on Facebook every day;
  • Canadian users average 2.7 visits per user per day;
  • 70 per cent of Torontonians using the Internet are on Facebook

Facebook Connect

  • Facebook Connect, according to Matt, has three key benefits:
    • Sharing identity/login with one click;
    • “Social filtering”;
    • Rapid, widespread distribution of content.
  • Instead of the time consuming process of creating new accounts on sites, users can sign-in to Facebook Connect-enabled sites by connecting with their Facebook accounts. 
  • Users’ profiles will then be populated with their personal information and, where applicable, their Facebook friends and their key public activity can be shown to the new user. This prevents the frustrating process of building a new profile and network on each site.
  • Users’ activities on websites can be pushed back to Facebook and displayed in their news feeds. In the example given, a clear opt-out was offered for this.
  • Stories that are published on news feeds get an average of 1-3 clicks per story, and are also commented-on (which spreads the content further).

Facebook Connect Results

  • In three months since its launch, 6,000 sites adopted Facebook Connect;
  • On average, registrations to websites using Facebook Connect rose by 20-100 per cent. Sites such as Gawker and Valleywag saw increases of 45 per cent;
  • People registered using Facebook Connect create 15-60 per cent more content;
  • Each story published to Facebook is seen by 30-40 people, and receives 1-3 clicks back to the site.

Whopper Sacrifice – Notes from a Case Study

Widely covered back in early 2009, Whopper Sacrifice encouraged Facebook users to “sacrifice” ten Facebook “friends” in exchange for a free Whopper sandwich. A few key points from the case study presented, which I found fascinating:

  • Unlike many initiatives, the Whopper Sacrifice micro-site drove traffic to the Facebook application rather than the other way around.
  • 60,000 people installed the Facebook application in the first ten days before it was shut down.
  • There is no way to delete friends through the Facebook API; the developers had to find a way to seamlessly take people outside the app and back  into Facebook in order to delete friends.
  • Facebook users sacrificed 233,906 friends in ten days. Burger King issued 24,000 coupons for free Whoppers.
  • The application was truly viral – each new user brought in 1.96 others, so it quickly spiralled.
  • According to Roy Pereira, the presenter (who I also spoke to after the event), Facebook asked the developers to remove the functionality that alerted users that their friends had deleted them. 
  • Just 10 days after its launch, Burger Kind shut down the application. Facebook did not shut down the application. The developers made that call as they had almost reached their maximum number of free Whopper coupons.
  • The shut-down page encouraged visitors to send an “angry burger” (see image above) to people who had “sacrificed” them. This was a straight digital marketing ploy – there was no Facebook application for this.
  •  The mainstream media attention around the app created an exponential cycle that drove attention. Pereira credits mainstream attention for the success of the application.
  • After I requested clarification after the session, Pereira confirmed there was no PR budget for the initiative, and no ad buy. The maintream media coverage was generated by the application and controversy.
  • Witty text copy is important (e.g. “XYZ likes you but likes Whoppers more”). The team experimented with different copy and discovered that, down even to the Facebook news feed level, wording changes mattered.

Those are my key points from FacebookCamp Toronto 5. There were two other speakers, but those were less relevant for me.

Were you there? Does this match what you thought of the sessions?

18 Responses toKey Points From FacebookCamp Toronto 5

  • Great job on the summary! Being there, I found Kevin Lister’s short talk on his wedding book app. and the process of it most valuable.

    Talking to Kevin at the pub, I was even more impressed by his humble personality for a guy in his position.

    Nice blog btw.

  • Thanks for the writeup Dave – I opted out of the talk, but I was curious as to what would be discussed

    My main issue with Facebook Connect is that people seem to be so caught up in the hype of getting more views and more logged-on users, that they’re ignoring the big picture. Connect is just another way for facebook to harvest data for their privately-owned private garden.

    I’m all for making life easier for users, and getting more eyeballs is always good. I just don’t think the average person realizes the consequences of making their activities available on facebook.

    Putting the content-ownership stuff aside, what happens when a recruiter decides to look you up on facebook (which they all do), and finds that giant angry rant you posted last week when you were in a cranky mood? Do we really want *facebook* to be a central hub for all our activities online?

    Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t trust facebook’s motives. They’re a money-losing company because their service doesn’t lend itself to ad-clicks (people go there to play/stalk, not buy). So with private-data as their only real commodity, and the looming issue of monetizing their service…what comes next?

  • I should probably already know this, but did the developers comply with Facebook’s request to emove the functionality that alerted users that their friends had deleted them?

  • CT – I believe they did, although there was a short period between the request to amend the app and the time when it was taken down. Roy Pereira told me after the event that Facebook was good to work with throughout this.

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