This Week In Social: Facebook Open Graph Stories, Pinterest Buys Punchfork, Twitter Value $11 Billion

By Rob McNair

Facebook Top Social Network In 127 Countries

Using data from Alexa, Vicenzo Consenza has updated his biannual stats on worldwide social media use. Unsurprisingly, Facebook dominates in 127 of 137 countries. Even in Brazil where Orkut was the top social media site, has now been eclipsed by Facebook, which now counts over a billion users.

Asia is the top continent of Facebook users, with 278 million users. What comes as a surprise is that QZone the top social network has overtaken Facebook in South Korea. Although only 10 countries left to conquer, they’ve some serious competition from homegrown networks in Russia, China and Iran.

Better Facebook Open Graph Stories With Flexible Sentences

Not everyone is familiar with Open Graph, but it essentially helps people tell stories with the apps they use & connect to their account. As developers it helps us integrate the app into the core Facebook experience, which increases distribution and growth.

It was confirmed yesterday, that Facebook have launched flexible sentences, an advanced feature that lets us modify the sentence structure in order to builder richer stories. For example, previously, if a person indicated that he tracked an artist on Songkick, a concert-finding app, it was not clear why.

With flexible sentences, it now helps provide better context by adding words to describe what action actually happened.

Most stories that use Open Graph actions will continue to be worded properly without needing to use flexible sentences. As a developer, if you want to modify your existing actions, you will need to resubmit your actions for approval via the App Dashboard. To learn more about working with flexible sentences, please see Facebook’s documentation.

Pinterest Buys Punchfork

Punchfork was founded in May 2010 with the mission of “Building tools to help people cook at home more often and more enjoyably” and “Bringing algorithms and analytics into the world of cooking and recipes.” Rather than running independently, Punchfork will soon shut down the site, mobile apps and API so Pinterest can focus on improving the app. Since Pinterest launched several other sites have adopted the same style, including Punchfork. Surely this gives hope to similar sites?

Punchfork essentially allows people to find recipes from other sites, filter recipes on diet requirements, along with searching by ingredients. This aim is to allow users to sort through their already huge archives of posts on Pinterest. The Punchfork founder and CEO will be joining the Pinterest engineering team to help. If you didn’t know already, Punchfork powers Evernote’s food app, however due to site & API to to be removed, they’ll be on the hunt for a new API.

Pinterest recently raised $138 million in funding, and acquiring standalone clones of the site could help them dominate the market. The price Pinterest paid for the startup is undisclosed.

Twitter Value $11 Billion

So what is Twitter really worth? A new report has suggested that Twitter could be valued higher than $11 Billion as it prepares to go public next year. Forbes reported yesterday that it’s basing the rough valuation of $11 billion on trading in secondary markets and that part of the current higher value is due to Apple being interested in acquiring the micro-blogging service.

Even with no acquisition, Twitter’s higher value still makes sense. Greencast said, according to Forbes, “”as growth in users and new monetization efforts are both yielding fruit and pointing toward a good 2013 for Twitter.”

Greencast believes Twitter will start preparing this year for an IPO, but will not actually float until 2014. Twitter co-founder and chairman Jack Dorsey has always said they’ll go public when it feels it’s ready. Will Apple acquire Twitter, it’d definitely be an interesting move for the tech giant.

Facebook Adds Voice Messaging to Messenger

Yesterday, Facebook released an update for its standalone Messenger for iOS and Android apps that lets users send up to one-minute voice messages. Most people have now reverted away from voicemail so this move seems curious, even for Facebook. Although even with visual voicemail, the majority of us never listen to messages.

With voice messaging, you simply open a new or existing conversation and you’ll be shown a red ‘record’ button. Simply press and hold the button to talk or record a sound up to one minute, and then release the button to stop recording. This recording will then simply appear in the conversation stream. Although Facebook have no plans to add voice message to the desktop site, you’ll be able to listen to the recording from the desktop site. The updates should be available in the app stores later this week.

This post was written by Rob McNair

Rob has experience advising some of the worlds most iconic brands. He thrives on helping improving social media knowledge within organisations with the ultimate goal of making theirs brands more social, transparent and accountable.