Kids, I Met Your Mother On Facebook

The basic premise of Facebook is asking you to share more than you naturally would with others. However, several new prompts may push that over-sharing over the edge of awkward.

Something that bothers me personally is when I get the prompt asking if I want to tag a friend in one of their friends photos. I will never ever click this. This is an incredibly awkward situation waiting to happen. I don’t know their friend and I’m always worried that I’ll accidentally click it and have to have an odd interaction with them.


Now, Facebook is letting you ask your friends about their relationship status. To be clear, you’re asking people who have elected not to share. You click “ask” and you have to send the other user a message about why you want to know. Basically, this is the line between “flirty” and “really really awkward”.


If you receive one of these messages, you can list select a status that only the other person can see, leaving it private from the rest of the world. This adds an extra layer to Facebook, which seems like it can become a sort of dating site.


I just hope I don’t accidentally click it on the profile of the cute girl who makes the espresso at Starbucks.

What Sparks Our Fire: Being aware of what the new clickable buttons do.

Would you ever ask a friend if they were single?

Application Transferance

Facebook is killing it this week.

App Links are Facebook’s new tools, attempting to make it easier for developers to link other applications from their own apps. For instance, if someone tapped on a post from Tumblr in their Facebook feed, they would be taken directly to the Tumblr app rather than a mobile browsing window. This kind of programming exists, and has been called mobile deep linking, but it’s not easy to use since many apps interact in different ways on different platforms in relation to each other.

Using the open-sourced App Links, developers can code the links directly into the guts of their web page, taking a user directly from one app to another without having to login to the other app or getting booted to a mobile page. It’s all about streamlining the process, and helping mobile applications interact seamlessly with each other.

What Sparks Our Fire: Solving a major problem and open-sourcing the solution.

What apps would you like to see linked to each other in this way?

Precise Location

This may be a bit too much…

Social media is an important facet of our daily lives, but the trick to putting it to good use is to find the right balance between what you share and what you don’t share. Companies and brands should share everything they want their customers to know. Normal, everyday users should be a little more judicious.

That’s why Facebook’s new tool may be sharing too much. On Thursday, the social media giant will launch “Nearby Friends”, a feature of their app that will allow you to broadcast your exact location to all your friends. Your precise coordinates will be available to anyone who has also opted into this entirely voluntary service.


The purported purpose of this service is to help users engage in real life, offline. As with the rest of Facebook, the privacy settings can be customized to your liking, sharing what you like with whom you like. However, this leads into the realm of oversharing. For the most part, I don’t want to know where my high school classmates are, and if I did I’d ask them where they are. In my profile, this feature will probably collect dust, rarely if ever used.

But then what if it becomes a trend to have this feature activated? Because then Facebook knows where you are at all times. And are we sure we can trust these large entities with the minutiae of our daily comings and goings? It’s a small measure of privacy to be sure, but a valuable one as well. Time will tell how this feature will end up shaping the user experience.

What Sparks Our Fire: Awareness of the coming trends, and taking care not to share too much.

Do you feel comfortable with this new feature?

The Oculus Rift/Facebook Marriage, and Why It Doesn’t Matter


So, this past week Facebook acquired virtual reality wunderkind Oculus Rift for $2 billion in cash and stock. For Oculus, this is a huge win in a succession of huge wins. For Facebook, this is a long-term bet that may or may not pay off.

Oculus Rift gained prominence as the most successful Kickstarter campaign ever, raising $2 million in 2012 and $91 million in venture funding later. The headset is purported to be one of the most incredible virtual reality experiences available, according to Mashable. For a cool price of $2 billion, that’s an incredible turnaround.

For Facebook, this is not the first time they’ve dropped a huge amount of money on a tech startup. Earlier this year Facebook bought messaging service WhatsApp for $16 billion, so $2 billion for Oculus must seem like spare change. Mark Zuckerberg calls this move “a longterm bet on the future of computing.” In essence, it seems like this was just a move for ownership, and neither Oculus or Facebook will change much because of it.

This all may be true, but as far as the future of Facebook as a company, this may not have been the best investment. With the loss of Facebook’s “Cool Factor” amongst young people, it’s hard to see what Zuckerberg is justifying this purchase with. However, we will see how the purchase plays out and pays off in the future of Facebook.

What Sparks Our Fire: Watching how companies prepare for the future is important for us as advertisers. Seeing the ebb and flow of technology is what prepares us for the next big thing.

Have you tried an Oculus Rift?