Facebook originally filed a lawsuit against Power Ventures and its now-defunct Power.com site, which billed itself as a portal for users’ social media accounts, in December 2008, claiming that Power.com accessed and stored users’ login information without permission. U.S. District Judge James Ware ruled in favor of the social network in February 2012, and Thursday, Facebook was awarded more than $3 million in damages, as well as a permanent injunction against Power Ventures and its founder, Steve Vachani.
An enterprising mom in California had an idea for an application that would be similar to OpenTable or Yelp, but for babysitters. Using Facebook’s platform as a vehicle, Lynn Perkins started UrbanSitter about a year-and-a-half ago. So far, there are 15,000 babysitters in the program and 50,000 families — a number that grows as the platform rolls out to more cities. The app and website allow families (largely in areas such as San Francisco, New York, and Boston), to find college-aged babysitters, and to see who their Facebook friends have hired to take care of their kids.
The Facebook Connect button that appears on websites throughout the Internet may soon have company, as rival social network Google Plus Tuesday rolled out Google Plus Sign-In, which performs similar functions to Facebook Connect by allowing users of Google Plus, Gmail, YouTube, and other Google services to use their credentials to sign into applications.
Games are an important part of the Facebook ecosystem. As the games market diversifies, with new developers entering the mix, so do the titles available on the social network. At a media event for Berlin-based developer Wooga in San Francisco Thursday, Facebook Director of Games Partnerships Sean Ryan discussed the future of social games with AllFacebook, pointing out that Facebook is working to offer a more diverse array of games to users, as well as to make it easier for gamers to have a continuous experience on desktops, phones, and tablets.
Facebook is moving to position itself as the hub of all interest-based communities (Pinterest, Spotify, Foodspotting, and Goodreads, for example) with its open graph platform. The people we follow in these networks are not necessarily our friends, but people whose content interests us. At the end of the day, all of these communities are peer-to-peer. Facebook can reimagine two big peer-to-peer markets with real identity, discovery, and imitation enabled by open graph at the center.
Justin Timberlake is bringing MySpace back, as the singer/actor was featured in a promotional video for the former top social network, but it’s a cameo by the Facebook logo that may raise eyebrows, as well. Details haven’t been released yet, but it appears that the new MySpace will continue to have some kind of Facebook integration.
As the nation heads into the final stretch of the 2012 election cycle, Democratic technology vendor NGP VAN introduced Social Organizing, a tool that adds a social layer to a campaign’s website and matches Facebook friends with information from voter registration records.