8/25/2010 8:24 AM
By Kevin C. Tofel
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.
Read more here.