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Platlas – Pie charting Facebook

Orange creation is coming from Brooklyn, NYC. Carrot Creative is a new-media marketing agency that has specialized in social media strategies, design and development. By harnessing traditional marketing tactics and applying them to the social-web, Carrot understands how to position and execute marketing plans for businesses operating in the Internet age. Among Carrot Creative clients are some of the most vaunted brands in the world, such as Major League Baseball, PepsiCo, Crayola, The Onion and the NFL.

Carrot has recently crafted a new social media platform that generates an atlas of Facebook – Platlas. We spoke with one of Carrot’s co-founders, Chris Petescia, who is also one of the creators of Platlas. He is recognized as a design geek, music snob and generally creative individual who finds inspiration through imagination. In the interview, Chris explains how Platlas works as a pie chart and why there is an urge to visualize all Facebook actions for its users.

Chris, you have created Platlas, a social media platform that is basically an atlas of Facebook. Why did you feel the urge to visualize all the actions that a user can do on facebook?

Chris: Facebook goes to great lengths to present their platform to users in a clean, intuitive interface, but it’s a very extensive and complicated site. For brands, Facebook represents an enormous opportunity to connect with their consumer base, and in turn see multiple interactions and content proliferation. However, the true possibility of reach is not plainly expressed nor fully understood by these brands, which we found to be the case amongst our clients. We created Platlas as a tool to help users and brands alike more clearly understand how their content spreads on Facebook.

Platlas offers to utilize facebook in a different way than before. How?

Chris: The true breadth of interactions are demonstrated through Platlas. Brands, and users, are able to understand all available Facebook tools and touch points between their own content and other users by using it. This knowledge should help brands, in particular, to think more creatively about how they post and execute campaigns on Facebook.

What are the advantages of Platlas?

Chris: The advantage for the tool is better breadth and understanding of the platform.

Platlas is organized and visualized as a pie chart. At first glance this pie chart seems a little confusing to absorb and to understand. Why was it still the best way to present Platlas?

Chris: Platlas is not the simplest presentation of the content, but it is the most complete; we compromised between simplicity and explicity when designing the tool. Starting from the center from the user’s perspective, the story narrates outwardly with increasing detail – from features to subfeatures and potential interactions upon each.

For example, you want to “share” a “photo,” like all items shared, friends’ possible interactions include: “like,” “comment,” and “tag” a page. However, specific to sharing a photo, users can also “tag” or “share” the photo themselves. The latter two features aren’t global features, they are specific to photo sharing, which is why the action dots reside in the most outward wedge with the photo icon, rather than in the layer more central which represents actions that all of the outer wedges can take.

How does Platlas break down all the interactions on facebook when it is yet combining them?

Chris: The effort is to show where all various interactions are possible from a more global view, across all features and subfeatures on Facebook.

Was Platlas intended to visualize the user’s point of view?

Chris: Yes, the user is in the center of the tool.

How are brands able to use Platlas and who is using it already?

Chris: We found ourselves distributing this to our clients and decided that if they found it useful then the web community at large might too. We took what was a flat infographic and converted it into something that could be interacted with. By selecting filters on the left hand side, brands and our peers can use Platlas to see, in real time, the available interactions for each feature on Facebook.

How is and was the resonance of your creation?

Chris: We sought to simply provide the web community with a utility to better understand how content spread across Facebook. Our intention is to generate similar narratives for additional social platforms. Emerging platforms, such as Tumblr, are likely candidates for future iterations.

 

 

German Version of the Interview.

(Grafics: Platlas pie chart, Carrot Creative Logo, Chris Petescia as avatar (c) Carrot Creative)

 

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