Facebook addicts can now not only catch up with their long-lost friends, but also stay informed of the latest news from South Africa and the world, thanks to a South African news application launched by the Mail & Guardian Online.
This application gives users of Facebook — the popular social networking service that has more than a hundred thousand South Africans buzzing — the ability to add the SA News Headlines application to their profiles and get updates on breaking news, sport and business.
According to Vincent Maher, strategist at the M&G Online, social networking applications such as Facebook and MySpace are becoming increasingly important to the news media.
”There is a lot that can be learned from the massively viral success that Facebook has seen in South Africa. Not only has this application captured the imaginations of so many people, it has also become a viable channel for news distribution,” he said.
”Ultimately the web is not only the browser, but also the applications that people use. This is a very Web 2.0 way of looking at things, and it will become the norm for media companies in the near future if they want to benefit from the explosion of social networking and media services.”
Though the current version of the Facebook application is basic, it is the start of something bigger. Maher said several new services will be launched through Facebook over the coming months, and the service has become core to the M&G Online‘s social media strategy.
”Focusing on what users want and where they want it is the most important thing that the traditional media need to be doing in this interim period where their authority is being challenged by newer forms of media,” he said.
On the net