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Facebook Applications

As libraries start to create Facebook applications using F8, it’s interesting to look at what the nature of Facebook apps is and what models are out there. I’ve seen libraries using Facebook to add Meebo features, add their OPAC, links ot their blogs, do virtual reference and and link to their Second Life presence or community.
Asi Sharabi’s blog, No Man’s Land, has a great post worth reading. Read the full post for the deep stuff but I found the taxonomy of apps interesting (how’s that for library geekiness.)
Facebook Applications Trends Report #1
Asi bases her survey on the 8648 facebook applications as of Nov. 23 (it’s 581,728,070 installs across 9,487 apps on Facebook with over 168,000 developers today) from the Facebook analytics site – Adonomics (previously Appaholic).
She used the data to carry out a systematic analysis of the 100 most popular applications (those that have at least 1 million users) – and take a snapshot as to what people are doing in Facebook.
What are the major buckets of applications that people add to their Facebook pages? Is it just fun and play?
“Looking at these 100 most popular applications a very interesting picture revealed. There are overall 3 categories that these applications can be organised into:
Identity formation – 43%
Phatic Communication – 37%
Other – 20%

Identity Formation – 42%
18% are self-presentation tools.
24% are collective identity formation
Phatic Communication – 38%
Phatic Communication (apps used for establishing an atmosphere or maintaining social contact rather than exchanging of ideas, or, in other words, apps used to communicate sociability more than information.)
“1. I exist.
2. I’m ok.
3. You exist.
4. You’re ok.
5. The channel is open.
6. The network exists.
7. The network is active.
8. The network is flowing.”
Keeping the network alive through social cohesion activities like pokes, themes, gifts and contextual/seasonal activities.
Other – 20%
Social Organisation – 3%
Communication tools – 9%
Games – 8%
What could this mean to libraries? With the exception of bond issue campaigns and card holder campaigns we don’t usually go for popularity. At this point, no more “than a quarter of the 100 most popular applications have more than 10% daily active users.” I’d be happy to get into the other category. We’re on the ground floor and I doubt we would get into the international top 100, but in our context and for our user bases, we could do some good work in communities and educational institutions.
Remember that libraries are social institutions. Even our book clubs can be as much or more social as they are about books and reading. Moms and tots events – same thing. Student training… let’s not be in denial about the strong and vital social role our libraries play in our institutions and communities.
Stephen

Posted on: November 25, 2007, 9:50 am Category: Uncategorized

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