September 7, 2011
Frecommendations: Turning the social network into a recommendation network
As we continue deeper into the age of Hyper-Personalization, where offers and services are touted “just for you,” Facebook’s social network may just turn into a “recommendation network” for brands and businesses.
Understanding that recommendations from trusted sources are better geared toward one’s individual tastes, brands are beginning to overlay the social graph to ensure a friend’s input rises to the top. Yelp, for instance, has begun incorporating Facebook information to make the site more personal, while a slew of other companies are popping up to take advantage of friends’ recommendations over those of strangers. Real estate search engine Trulia, for instance, recently launched a feature that incorporates Facebook endorsements to help house hunters find a real estate agent. Wajam has created a browser extension that compiles information from your social networks when you initiate a Web search (it also works on e-commerce sites such as Amazon, eBay and on Yelp.) The company bills it as “the easiest way to get your friends’ knowledge when you need it”. And, much like Recco (which we wrote about earlier this year), Fidatto is a mobile app (which originally began as a Facebook extension) that searches for friends’ Facebook recommendations when you use it to find a product or service.
With research showing friend recommendations are a trusted source for brand purchases, it seems likely more services will begin cropping up to capture the recommendations of friends. The value of these sites will depend upon critical mass; like Facebook itself, the social network with the most friends wins. But on those apps and sites that do succeed, we can expect to see brands asking people to go beyond “liking” them on Facebook (and other social media) to actually “recommending” them, which is a more powerful endorsement.
Image credit: Denis Dervisevic