Facebook may have been a hunting ground last year for developers expanding their social mobile programs, but their sights are set on growing with Google in 2012, a new study suggests.

According to a new report by mobile platform company Appcelerator and analyst firm International Data Corporation (IDC), developers are more interested in using Google products such as Google+, search, Gmail and the Android Market to implement their social strategies.

The survey — which was conducted among 2,173 developers worldwide — found that 39% of participants said the network effects of Google’s initiatives are more important to their social strategies in 2012 than Facebook’s social graph.

SEE ALSO: Facebook Wants to Own Your Social Graph

“Google is learning some good lessons from Facebook about what not to do and what to do better,” Appcelerator principal analyst Michael King told Mashable. “We didn’t expect Google to expect to do so well against Facebook, but it puts them at an advantage. Many developers now see Google as offering more opportunities for growth than Facebook.”

The report also found that developers have expressed less interest in developing Android apps this year “due to continued fragmentation of the platform” and are looking to expand their iOS efforts. It noted that HTML5 will play a bigger role in the mobile app development space this year.

About 79% of mobile developers who took the survey indicated they plan to integrate HTML5 into their apps in 2012. Not surprisingly, overall mobile app development continues to grow. More than half (53.5%) said they are focusing on mobile strategies compared to 27.4% in 2010.

Do you think that this is a sign that more consumers could leave Facebook to access app programs on other sites? Do you think Google+ could take on Facebook in the future? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

More About: Facebook, Google, Social Media, trending

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When Facebook filed for its IPO earlier this month, it revealed that it has 425 million mobile users. That massive presence on phones and tablets has translated into success for many others, the social network says, since Facebook’s mobile platform sends more than 60 million people to third-party apps every month.

In a post on the company’s developer blog, Facebook’s head of mobile developer relations, James Pearce, says that since Facebook revamped its mobile platform in October last year (which included the launch of its iPad app), it’s resulted in a big uptick of users interacting with apps and games outside of Facebook proper. The 60 million people who visit apps from Facebook create more than 320 million “visits” on those apps.

While many of those visits are to popular games such as those made by Zynga, Pearce cites the social app Foodspotting as an example of an app success story. By letting users sign in with their Facebook login and creating an app that integrate’s with Facebook’s Open Graph, Pearce says Foodspotting has seen the number of visits and activities shared via the social network increase by a factor of three.

As a more recent example, Yahoo built Open Graph into its desktop and mobile web apps, so visitors could see on Facebook which Yahoo News articles their friends had been reading. Since Feb. 14 — not even two weeks ago — traffic to the mobile Yahoo News web app has gone up by 3.5x.

SEE ALSO: Facebook’s Road to IPO
The post comes right before Facebook appeared at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. There, Facebook Chief Technology Officer Bret Taylor said the company is working to help create standards to make developing web apps easier. That would help fuel Facebook’s mobile influence even more, since developers wouldn’t need to create separate apps for every platform (iOS, Android, etc.) and just integrate Open Graph with a web app to reach Facebook’s huge audience.

Of course, the one thing Facebook hasn’t yet revealed is how it’s going to tie advertising to its mobile platform. In Facebook’s IPO filing, the company said it didn’t serve ads through any of its mobile products — yet.

What do you think of Facebook’s growing influence in mobile? Is it a boon to developers, or should they be wary of putting so many eggs in the Facebook basket? Tell us what you think in the comments.

Image courtesy of iStockphoto, ymgerman

BONUS: Facebook IPO: Reading Between the Lines


Advertising: 123

As we learned by reading the S1 document, Facebook relies heavily on advertising for revenue. “Advertising” comes up 123 times, matched only by “Mobile” (also with 123 mentions). Interestingly, Facebook is not really making much money from mobile but still considers it a key component for future development.

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More About: apps, Facebook, Mobile, Open Graph, trending

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Growing the number of “Likes” on your company’s Facebook page isn’t just a matter of pride. In fact, the social proof generated by an active fan page can be incredibly powerful in building your brand’s authority and engagement. However, earning these votes of confidence isn’t as simple as just asking people to click “Like” on […]

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1. Hands

Pinterest via Edris Kim.

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If you’re like us, you’re obsessed with Pinterest. You get excited when you find pictures you love and pin them to your online bulletin boards with a sense of pride that they are yours.

With so many photos on the two-year-old social scrapbooking site — and countless more added each day — it’s common for some to only get a handful of re-pins. Meanwhile, other images pick up so much popularity that they go virtually viral, getting pinned from one board to the next.

SEE ALSO: 7 Tips for Planning a Wedding on Pinterest | Pinterest Becomes Top Traffic Driver for Retailers [INFOGRAPHIC]

Here are 15 of some of the most popular pictures on Pinterest — all of which have raked in more than 15,000 re-pins each.

Are any of these pictures on your boards? If not, go ahead and pin them, or leave some suggestions in the comments about your favorite pins.

More About: Facebook, Photos, pinterest, Social Media, trending, Twitter

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1. Join

If you haven’t already, sign up for a Pinterest account. There’s a waiting list to join now — talk about exclusivity — but you can beat the system by having an existing Pinterest member send you a request. If you don’t know anyone on Pinterest, some have had success by finding members via Twitter and asking for invitations that way.

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If you’re planning a wedding and knee-deep in collecting ideas for the perfect dress, hairstyle and invitations, there’s a good chance you’re already familiar with Pinterest.

The two-year-old social bookmarking site — which allows users to collect and share things they like on the Internet — is becoming a hotbed for the wedding industry. Not only are Pinterest users adding images to their virtual pinboards for inspiration to help plan their big day, but some are collecting ideas for the future and aren’t even engaged.

Either way, Pinterest is an easy way to make planning a wedding more manageable. It’s like ripping the pages out of wedding magazines and taping them to your bulletin board — but digitally. Even better, each picture is typically linked to a site where you can buy the styles you want, learn DIY crafting tips and become informed about the latest trends. Friends and other Pinterest followers can also leave comments and feedback to make the whole planning process more interactive.

SEE ALSO: Pinterest: 13 Tips and Tricks for Cutting Edge Users

To make the most of the site, here are simple and effective ways to use Pinterest for wedding planning — from which boards to create and who to follow to leveraging your findings while shopping in stores.

Are you planning a wedding via Pinterest? Let us know your tips in the comments below.

More About: Facebook, pinterest, Social Media, Twitter

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Pinspire vs. Pinterest

It doesn’t get more blatant than this. Pinspire is pretty much a pixel-for-pixel Pinterest clone, created by the serial digital ripoff artists at Rocket Internet. It’s a bit obscene just how much of a copycat Pinspire is — from concept to functionality to the cursive-style logo. Will it be as lucrative for the Rocket’s Sawmer Brothers as their other projects, an eBay clone they sold to the real auction site for $50 million or the European deals site that Groupon gobbled up? Or will someone finally serve them with a cease-and-desist letter? If that happens, someone please pin it.

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In the world of social media, discovering that worthwhile original idea for your app or website is by far the hardest thing to get right. It’s so hard, in fact — and the field so potentially lucrative — that many parties who jump into the field tend not to bother. Why should you create something original when there are so many successful sites and services that you can just rip off?

At least that appears to be the thinking behind many Internet companies whose concepts, web design or apps appear to owe a lot to other, more successful forebears. Once you start looking, it’s not hard to find digital ripoffs. At best, they’re quirky homages inspired by a successful digital brand. At worst, they’re ersatz imitators looking to cash in on someone else’s idea — just a step or two above malware.

Perhaps that’s a little harsh. After all, the humor writer Josh Billings once said, “About the most originality that any writer can hope to achieve honestly is to steal with good judgment.” If you substitute “web designer” for “writer,” he may have been talking about the state of digital design today. After all, it would be impossible to find a design that isn’t at least a little derivative.

SEE ALSO: Top 5 Web Design Mistakes Small Businesses Make

Still, there’s a difference between borrowing some core design ideas and wholesale imitating. In social media, where the essential premise of connecting and sharing with your friends provides a basic architecture, perhaps the line between the two is blurrier than in other fields. After all, Facebook was called a MySpace clone, which was called a Friendster clone before that. But they are (and were) nothing like each other.

While building on existing concepts will always be part of design, so too will mimics, where the cloning is so pervasive and total that the site is nothing more than a copy of the original, merely slipped into a different skin. Here are the 10 most flagrant design ripoffs in social media today, at least to Mashable‘s eye.

More About: BlinkList, Copycats, delicious, DianDian, digg, DZone, Facebook, foursquare, Funded By Me, hacker news, heello, instagram, kickstarter, picplz, Pinspire, pinterest, reddit, scvngr, Social Media, trending, tumblr, Twitter, web design, yammer

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1. Enable, But Don’t Publish

After enabling the new design via the Facebook Timeline page, you can explore and customize your page without publishing anything. Do all of your trial-and-error work first — that way friends only see the final product and not all of the updates you made along the way.

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Like it or not, you’re about to get the new Facebook Timeline. Sure, change can be a good thing, but it often causes a big backlash on Facebook — get ready for complaints about how the old format was better — and it can also be nerve wracking for those who like to keep a low profile on the site.

We’ve written countless stories on how to take advantage of the new features — suggesting beautiful and funny cover photos, providing instructions about how to create new life events and even offering tips on how to enable the Timeline in just one click. But this one is about how to tone it down and make the switch quietly without annoying your friends.

SEE ALSO: How to Get Old Facebook Back | 15 Funny Facebook Timeline Cover Photos

Fear not, there are a bunch of ways to limit the in-your-face nature of the new design. Since everyone will be getting Facebook Timeline soon, take a few minutes now to get it ready. Starting on Tuesday, Facebook will be giving some users a seven-day warning before it automatically updates their page with Timeline. You can enable the feature ahead of time though, and either publish it right away or edit it the way you want before it goes live on its own, seven days later. So go on. It’s not as scary as it sounds.

Check out the gallery above for how to not make a big entrance with your Facebook Timeline.

Are you hesitant to try Facebook Timeline? If you’ve already enabled it, what do you think of it? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

BONUS: Facebook Timeline Inspirations

1. Antonio Fadda

Brilliantly imaginative, Fadda turns his profile into a security checkpoint.

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More About: Facebook, facebook timeline, features, Social Media

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To most PPC marketers, the Facebook paid ads program represents an ideal marketing opportunity. Finally, you aren’t limited to targeting your ads based on geographic location and time of day alone (I’m looking at you, Google Adwords!). In fact, if you wanted to run a campaign targeting 16 year old boys in San Francisco who […]

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1. Daniel Christian

Ground Control to Major Daniel — this Timeline cover is out of this world.

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Now that Facebook Timeline has rolled out, many of you have become more familiar with its most prominent feature, resulting in a plethora of creative and noteworthy profiles. Now, we’ve scoured the social network and asked our readers for some of the funniest cover photo designs.

SEE ALSO: Facebook Timeline Roll Out: Everything You Need to Know

Whether it’s a tribute to an old Nintendo game or a play on placement or lighting, one of these cover photos is likely to make you smile. If you’re not a fan of the new profile changes, you may want to check out these browser tricks to get the old Facebook back.

Think you have a funnier cover photo? Share yours with us in the comments.

More About: cover photos, design, Facebook, facebook timeline, features, Social Media, trending

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