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Summary:

Facebook is continuing to grow, but not all of that growth is due to features and functions of the web-based social networking service. The trend towards Facebook-enabled hardware shows no sign of stopping: cameras, picture frames, televisions and more are bringing Facebook everywhere for consumers.

With more than 500 million registered users, Facebook is already a force to be reckoned with in the world of social networks. When a service becomes that large, its growth rate often slows, but Facebook’s audience is poised to keep growing at a healthy clip, and not just because of new software features like the recently announced Places. Instead, the trend is for Facebook to find hooks into hardware devices of every type, even those that aren’t always connected or can’t directly connect to the Internet.

Just today, Kodak announced a new digital camera, the EasyShare M590. When I looked at the specifications list, I expected to see how many megapixels the camera sensor can capture, what kind of zoom magnification the lens offers and the size of the LCD display. All of that information is found in the press release, but it’s secondary to the dedicated share button on the camera. The very first specification listed is for this button, which tags photos or videos for YouTube, Flickr, Orkut, email — and Facebook. Kodak also introduced a new picture frame with connectivity today, and it too has hooks into Facebook, so you can easily show pictures from your Facebook albums.

The new Kodak camera and picture frame join a growing army of Facebook-enabled hardware: We can view or update our Facebook status today on gaming consoles. Bedside displays such as the Sony Dash or cute little Chumby device are tied into the Facebook collective, as well. And while the hottest, new television feature might be 3-D technology, more sets are coming with integrated web connections that will inevitably point back to Facebook and other social sites. Once consumers have a device to get their Facebook fix, research shows they use the site even more : A recent Nielsen survey reveals that nearly a quarter of the average American’s online time each day is used for Facebook.

The situation is akin to what has happened with YouTube, which is also being integrated into a variety of current hardware and could gain additional legs with GoogleTV. I can’t seem to swing a stick without hitting some device that has either a dedicated viewer, a way to upload videos or some other direct tie to YouTube. The video service is everywhere, and Facebook apparently isn’t far behind. Based on the wide range of offerings found in Facebook — applications, locations, recommendations from friends and shared items all kinds from the web — I won’t be surprised at all when Facebook is found in more devices than YouTube. Maybe my next car will automatically check me to the nearest location on Facebook Places when I park?

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  1. So what’s next? A toaster hooked into Facebook?

    1. Patent it — Quick!!

    2. No that would linked to Twitter so that it can automagically indicate your breakfast choice in real time. #progress

  2. usedlaptopclub Tuesday, August 24, 2010

    On Facebook there is a lot of things i suppose…. look and comment pictures, play games, take quizzes, write your daily input, chat with your friends, and much more! If you have not yet gone on Facebook before, I am guaranteed you will enjoy it, as i do! :)

  3. Sanjay Maharaj Tuesday, August 24, 2010

    It just shows how Facebook will control most facets of our lives as we get mror eand more dependend on what others are doing and sharing with them what we are doing all in public.
    Having such a feature on a digital camera makes total sense to me so full marks to Kodak for taking this leap.

  4. That will be the last thing that we need is our cars connecting to Facebook….

  5. Great post. I couldnt agree more. I remember when more applications and websites first started asking permission to link their service with Facebook and I was always skeptical. Today, I allow permission to my page left and right. Having recently joined the future by finally purchasing a smartphone I am amazed at what I can do with all the apps in correlation with Facebook. Amazing!

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