Tag Archives: Facebook

PopeTube? The Vatican teams up with YouTube

The Pope is feeling a little left out as YouTube chugs on growing more and more popular, so the Vatican have decided to join in on all the fun.  The Vatican is expected to announce today that they have indeed made a deal with Google to create a channel on YouTube devoted to the Pope.

The move comes as the Vatican aims to appeal to the huge one billion Roman Catholic community around the world.  The channel will also be aimed at non-Catholics in an attempt to drum up some additional interest in the religion.

The Pope has even said to have specifically approved the move.  Monsignor Claudio Maria Celli has stated that Pope Benedict XVI is a “man of dialogue” and that he relished the chance to reach people and engage with them.  Celli also added that the Pope is “fond of new technologies” and the Vatican clearly see the potential of YouTube and the community that the site reaches on a daily basis.

The plans are to update the channel daily and will provide the service in Italian, German, English and Spanish.  The material for the channel will be made up from existing services such as radio and television that the Vatican already have in place.

A source at the Vatican said, “The faithful will be able to see the Pope and church events but we hope that those who are curious will also look.”

The director of the press room, television centre and Vatican Radio, Father Federico Lombardi, announced that the move was a  “real and tangible example of the Church’s commitment in the field of new technologies, to reach out to a global audience without regard for nationality or culture.” 

Other well known figures such as the Queen and President Obama use YouTube in a similar way and Google must be over the moon at the amount of attention that they will receive from such important backing.

The managing director of European sales and media solutions at YouTube, Henrique de Castro, highlighted how the website was a perfect way for the Vatican to reach the people that they wanted to.  “YouTube is a communications platform open to all, where users, institutions and content producers come together in a global meeting place.  We are honoured that the Vatican has chosen to use the site to communicate with people across the world, and delighted that our community will have access to the words of the Pope on some of the most important issues facing the world today,” said Castro.

This new development is truly an interesting move and should soon be adopted by many other important figures around the world.  It will be interesting to see what the next move will be after YouTube.  Perhaps PopeSpace or FacePope?  The Catholic News Service already has a presence on Facebook and runs regular news items and blogs and even has a message from the Pope dedicated to President Obama.

Social networking sites such as MySpace and Facebook will bring in charges in 2009

Social networking sites, such as favourites Facebook and MySpace, are set to jump on the greedy-train as news has surfaced that the sites are planning to charge good money to their users to partake in activities that they are currently taking for granted, such as uploading videos.

Director of research for technology and telecommunications for Deloitte, Paul Lee, claims that, “The book value of some social networks may be written down and some companies may fail altogether if funding dries up.  Average revenue per user for some of the largest new media sites is measured in just pennies per month, not pounds.  This compares with a typical average revenue per user of tens of dollars for a cable subscriber, a regular newspaper reader or a movie fan.”

Websites that provide their users with networking privileges such as poking your mates rely heavily on advertising to bring in the money to help pay for the domain, the employees and the Porsche’s.  However, apparently advertising is seemingly drying up and sites such as Bebo are apparently not turning out to be the lucrative business paths they originally were planned on being.

The sad fact is that, although you and I are more than happy to fill our MySpace page with our pictures and small thumbnails depicting our “friends”, we aren’t paying for the rights to use the site, and the advertising is clearly proving not to be enough for the sites to survive on.  In fact, Twitter is making such little money it doesn’t generate any revenues at all.  Not really the aim of any business.

However, there is no denying the website’s successes – in user numbers, not pound signs.  These social networking sites, and in particular Facebook, have been appearing more and more on mobile telecommunication networks, such as Orange.  A study by Orange discovered that 640,000 of its UK users would use their mobile handset to connect to the Internet to check their social networking accounts.

The Director of Products for Orange UK, Paul Jevons, claims that the high usage of social networking sites on the Orange network is incredibly substantial, saying, “We are seeing massive numbers of unique users and traffic in social networking and we expect that to continue.  A number of things have come together such as the tariffs and the handsets that really have kickstarted social networking on mobile phones.”

Facebook, however, can breathe a sigh of relief as it is bringing in SOME revenues due to a lucrative advertising deal made when Facebook was in its prime in 2007.

The months between June 2008 and October 2008 saw numbers of users of mobile handsets access these social networking sites raise by 277 per cent and a reason for this has been said to be the introduction of such tariffs as Dolphin which allow unlimited access to these social networking sites.  The recent success of the iPhone has also brought strong attraction to Facebook and other similar sites as the iPhone provides continually wireless Internet.

MyGoogleSpace take on Microfacebooksoft

Social networking site Myspace has released its own version of single sign-on functionality, after a week of mid-profile announcements last week from various social networks.

Myspace Open Platform is part of a select range of services from the teen favourite that includes the Myspace Application Platform, MyspaceID, and Post To Myspace.

Myspace has also announced several partners that will be participating in the MyspaceID scheme – previously known as “Data Availability”. Vodafone and Netvibes are currently developing MyspaceID implementations. A number of other companies are already involved in the project including, AOL, Flixster, Flock, Eventful and Yoono.

One of the most significant factors is that Myspace is supporting Google Friend Connect as a component of MyspaceID. Built on open standards, Myspace supports OpenSocial, OAuth and OpenID.

The competition is not sitting idly by however, and Facebook and Google unveiled their new initiatives last week.

Rob Enderle, principal analyst for the Enderle Group said in an interview with TechNewsWorld that, “Single sign-on is important because it promotes loyalty to a site but the goal is to be first out of the gate with something like this – if you are using another system already, it is not likely you are going to switch.”

Hyun-Yeul Lee, is the assistant professor of communication at Boston University, and she says that the initiatives, Facebook Connect, Google Friend Connect ad MyspaceID allows users to hold a metaphorical “passport [that allows users] to connect or navigate with other partner sites,” she said.

She spoke about new kid on the block, Power.com: “Power.com, on the other hand, is a reverse strategy – an aggregator. It is a place where all your social sites are available in one place, and you can use your various login’s to get all those sites connected and available to you in one place,” she explained.

The main difference between the platforms however is that MyspaceID is built using an open developer-minded standard, and Facebook Connect uses proprietary methods.

Rick Turoczy, blogged about the platforms claiming that the open nature of Myspace, and that fact its partnered with Google, will give Facebook some serious competition.

“In stark contrast to the proprietary nature of Facebook Connect – MySpace had chosen to rely on the Open Stack, using OpenSocial, OAuth, and OpenID to build its service,” he wrote. The launch of MySpaceID “has helped Open Standards take another step forward, as well.”

“The mix of MySpaceID and Google Friend Connect enables MySpaceID partners to deliver even more social functionality, without a great deal of development time,” he said.

He believes MySpace’s have taken the initiative and have fired “a very real shot across Facebook’s bow,” he says. “And continues to set the stage for the tag-team match between the more proprietary Facebook-Microsoft and the more open MySpace-Google.