The blogosphere was full of chatter yesterday when it was announced by Addtoany, a Web tool publishing company that lets users share content, that more people use Facebook as a platform to share links than any other option, including email, and by a pretty wide margin.
According to AddToAny, Facebook now accounts for 24 percent of all items being shared. Email finishes second at 11.1 percent and closes behind at third is Twitter at 10.8 percent of all items shared. See the full list here:
AddToAny’s widget is accessed over 1.5 billion times per month so although they are not the end all be all authority…they certainly have earned the right to make news when statistics like this are announced. To add to the accuracy of this statistic, it is backed up by the AddThis (20 times larger than AddToAny) findings that Facebook accounts for 23.5 percent of shares on their platform, virtually identical statistics.
So, if everyone is now sharing the majority of their links on Facebook instead of email, I thought I’d review some additional Facebook Apps that you can use to share the more common information normally reserved for email. I prefer a more dynamic and real-time experience so I’ll try any attempt to draw me away from the static email platform.
I pulled some popular Facebook apps getting buzz and deciding whether or not I’ll use it. Heres my criteria:
- What does it do?
- Is it easy to install?
- Is it easy to use?
- Does the app improve the functionality of my Facebook experience?
- Does it integrate any other social networks?
PowerPoints / Presentations
- What does it do: Share and publish presentations within your Facebook network.
- Is it easy to install: You need to sign up for an account, but they make it easy by allowing access directly on the Facebook page. The signup took about 3 minutes.
- Is it easy to use: Yes. Adding a slideshow is extremely easy and doesn’t take any time to figure out.
- Does the app improve the functionality of my Facebook experience: Yes. You can add a Slideshare page on your profile giving others an opportunity to see your work.
- Does it integrate any other social networks: SlideShare also works with Linkedin. Sync your account and all 3 areas can be instantly updated when uploaded to just one.
- Additional Info: Slideshare supports formats ppt, PPS, PPTX ODP, pdf, doc, Docx, ODT, Keynote, iWork pages and can embed YouTube videos in presentations. Audio can also be inserted to create and share a webinar. The presentations can be tagged, commented, rated, embedded into blogs, and downloaded by others.
- Will I be using it: Yes. Slideshare allows a bigger audience to be exposed to the work you’ve already created. Why not reach a bigger audience?
- What does it do: The Delicious Facebook App bridges your Delicious account with Facebook. The app allows for your recent bookmark summary to be displayed in your Facebook Profile and or Show your in your Facebook News Feed
- Is it easy to install: Yes, but you need a preexisting account with Delicious. Since I already had one, I quickly jumped to this link and fill out the appropriate info. Total time took about 90 seconds.
- Is it easy to use: Yes. It works on its own and whenever you bookmark a site with Delicious the app publishes to your profile automatically.
- Does the app improve the functionality of my Facebook experience: Yes. Displaying your recent bookmarks to your profile can let your friends see what interesting links you’ve been reading. Exposing others to sites or articles you find useful can spur conversations, and ultimately help you find new information to subjects you are interested in.
- Does it integrate any other social networks: Yes. It integrates Delicious.com.
- Will I be using it: Yes. Since I already had a preexisting account, its really no trouble for me. I also like the idea of link sharing and this does it with no additional effort. I have chosen to display links on both my profile and news feeds. Depending on how often I bookmark links, I may disable the news feed option so I don’t overwhelm my contacts with updates.
- What does it do: Quick & easy way to share videos, MP3s, images, docs, and any other file with your friends or post to your own wall or news stream.
- Is it easy to install: This is by far the fastest and easiest file sharing app. I was up and running in about 4 steps. All of the functions take place under the Facebook platform so no need to sign up for other accounts. The total time to install was about 45 seconds. In order for your friends to view your files, they will need to install the app, but since there is no need to fill out new account information the convenience factor is high.
- Is it easy to use: Very easy to send a file. But when receiving a document, you are notified via the “Notifications” button in the bottom right-hand corner of Facebook, not in the inbox which I can see as a problem. With so many updates taking place all day long, it may be easy to miss your file. to correct this, after installing, Divshare can be used in the email function, use the app there and it eliminates this problem.
- Does the app improve the functionality of my Facebook experience: Yes. Facebook makes it easy to post videos and pics on your news stream, but not to individual friends or groups of friends. Divshare allows virtually any type of file to be added, and more importantly, DivShare allows you to send files to individual friends that are not publicized on your stream.
- Additional Information: Downloads are limited to 200MB each so if you have really large movie files you may be seeking other options. Storage is limited to 5GB and Downloads at 10GB, so for a free app, you should have plenty of space. *Note: I did receive an error on both sending and receiving a document the first time I tried the app
- Does it integrate any other social networks: No
- Will I be using it: Yes. The real-time nature of Facebook is appealing so while chatting on Facebook, I can send files simultaneously.
Office Document Apps
- What does it do: Zoho is an incredibly robust and free online office suite. This application has everything you could need, from a word processor, online spreadsheet, presentations, and document program to a full database and form creator.
- Is it easy to install: In order to access Zoho, you will need to sign up. Creating an account took about 1 minute, and although they have a Facebook app, you cannot log on using your Facebook profile information. Your Google log-in information does work so signing up is still a snap.
- Is it easy to use: It’s hard to complain about a free application, but many inconveniences do come with the Zoho app. Each time you click on a link in the app…you’re taken to the Zoho website for access. The biggest hurdle with Zoho however, is with sharing and collaborating on any of your documents. While yes, you can select which of your friends can access the docs, they must also be signed up for Zoho. So everybody better be on board or you’ll be sharing and editing docs by yourself.
- Does the app improve the functionality of my Facebook experience: No. There is a lot of value to keep things centrally located and easy for others to locate. Depending on where you work, most of your colleagues or contacts are already on Facebook, so being able to collaborate on a platform where everyone is already on is extremely appealing. But as I mentioned earlier, a Facebook account is only the first step. Anyone involved must also be signed up at Zoho.
- Does it integrate any other social networks? No
- Will I be using it: No. While I do think it’s convenient to be able to access documents from within Facebook if I’m constantly taken from the Facebook platform, why wouldn’t I just continue to use Google docs or Microsoft Office and then just use a file-sharing system? It just doesn’t seem convenient, Facebook access or not. Overall I can find easier ways to complete the same tasks.
I tried to review this app but each time I tried to access the application I received an error message. So I will not currently be using this app. Perhaps you’ll have better luck than me.
What apps are you currently using on Facebook to improve office functionality? Which apps should I include for another review?