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Facebook’s hidden facets

Facebook’s hidden facets
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First Published: Tue, Dec 22 2009. 09 16 PM IST

Illustration: Raajan/Mint
Illustration: Raajan/Mint
Updated: Tue, Dec 22 2009. 09 16 PM IST
A significant shift has occurred in social networking trends among the Indian youth over the last one year: Almost everybody who ever had an Orkut account now has one on Facebook. One reason for Facebook’s popularity is that it’s packed with dozens of unique features, an immensely gratifying and interesting range of applications (or apps), and surprising tweaks that let you have fun while being in constant touch with your friends and family. Let’s take a peek at a few things that you can do on (and with) Facebook to bring the “social” back into your network. Log on to Facebook.com and look at the bottom-left corner of the screen. You can’t miss that little button on the toolbar which says “f applications”. On the “f applications” toolbar, click on the link that says “Browse more applications”. Now, you are ready for serious work on the social networking website.
Illustration: Raajan/Mint
Utilities
NewsCloud: This is a social news application which allows you to discuss socially relevant issues aimed at gaining solidarity for particular endeavours and movements. You can vote, read, submit or comment on stories directly from your Facebook account. News feeds are a part of this app. You can also access videos from reliable news sources here.
Application Builder: Around 500,000 people have used this one. This is the most interactive application on Facebook, which gives every user a chance to feel like a genius. If you’ve got a great idea and you think people will like it, just transform it into an application, sit back and watch how you can change the world using Facebook.
Files: This is a storage service from Box.net that allows you to upload and store files from your computer. Although it’s just 1GB, this is useful if you want to display these files on your profile page. Friends can then download them.
Pixlr Editor: Pixlr is a free, Firefox-powered online photo editor. Whether you want to upload new photos or edit old ones, Pixlr is an excellent application to help you through the process. Alternatively, you could use the Pixlr Express to crop, resize and juggle photos around with ease.
Business
Here’s a list of applications that can fire up your business and ensure better brand recall without the prohibitive expenses of an advertising campaign.
Promotions: Facebook Fan Pages are full of potential customers who stay online for prolonged periods on the site discussing everything about their favourites. Any agency or company could cash in on this by putting its advertisements on a Fan Page.
Promotions for Fan Pages let you do just that. You could use it to create and launch marketing campaigns in a few minutes using the simple, user-friendly interface of this application. These must be interactive and in the nature of lotteries, contests, coupons and discount tickets.
Tag Biz Pro business cards: Use Tag Biz Pro to create a lifelike business card from a whole range of features to set up a business network on Facebook. You can attach your business “card” to all your Facebook messages and pick a keyword which is then displayed in a business keyword tag on your profile page.
SlideShare: Now you can hook up your favourite presentation-storage website to Facebook in such a way that it automatically uploads to SlideShare, Facebook and LinkedIn at the same time. And it’s not just for your presentations. The site supports commonly used file formats and even allows you to embed YouTube videos on your profile page. This could be of great help if you want to exhibit the unique selling points of your business enterprise or want to showcase your skills.
Inside Job: This application helps you find and communicate with Facebook users based on their old jobs, where they had their last interview or who they are currently working with. You can then get the inside information about these companies and make an informed opinion about a prospective employer. You can also find the right employee, a job or even advertise a vacancy in your firm.
ENTERTAINMENT
iLike: This application allows you to add a music tab to your profile, create and share playlists with your friends, receive concert updates and participate in DJ contests. It’s already got about 10 million users.
Flixster: The app allows you to check out who likes the same kinds of movies among friends, post and read reviews of the latest movies, find new movies that you’d never heard about and check your knowledge of movies.
Bumper Sticker: An incredible range of typical bumper sticker blurbs abound in the Bumper Sticker application which allows you to view, share and use stickers on your profile and those of others. These are virtual stickers that range from the comic to the bizarre. A must-have application.
My Plans: Organizing a party or get-together usually involves innumerable calls to friends or family. My Plans on Facebook allows you to notify, share and discuss meeting plans with all your friends and family who are on Facebook, making the task a whole lot easier.
Games
FarmVille: While about 62% of the Indian population is actually employed in the agricultural sector, all of a sudden, the population of virtual farmers has boomed, thanks to FarmVille. This online game, in which anyone can set up and cultivate his/her own virtual farm, is definitely the most popular game on Facebook.
Mafia Wars: This game encourages you to loot, rob, kill and create an Al Capone-like empire. Set in New York City, Little Italy or Cuba, players must choose a character, do jobs to earn cash, build a gang by recruiting members and fight other mafia conglomerates. As you progress to the next level, you are rewarded with access to new features, new weapons and new jobs.
NEWS YOU CAN USE
HTC Tattoo comes to India
The Google Android craze has arrived, but there are only a couple of Android handsets in India, and those are exorbitantly priced. HTC Tattoo comes to the market with a price tag of Rs16,900, a little more affordable. In Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra, you’ll have to shell out Rs18,400. It’s not locked to any network either. But resolution of the now resistive touch screen has been dropped to 240x320 (320x480 is the norm for other Android phones). It also runs an older version Android OS—1.6. This could limit your use of available applications. You get a GPS, built-in Wi-Fi and even an FM tuner though. But it makes sense to pay a little more and get the proper Android experience.
Gen-next Intel Processors
Intel’s next Atom processor, code named Pine Trail, is set for launch. The new netbook processor, the 1.66 GHz N450, boasts 20% better power efficiency and a smaller size. The N450, along with the NM10 chipset, consumes only 7.5W of power. The desktop processors also have better power efficiency, achieved by moving the graphics and memory controller to the CPU, benefiting performance. The new processor and chipset enable you to run HD content, once possible only with NVIDIA’s Ion platform. The first products should be out on 4 January, just ahead of the Las Vegas CES (Consumer Electronics Show), where 80 Pine Trail-powered systems are expected.
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First Published: Tue, Dec 22 2009. 09 16 PM IST