Like its users, Facebook's media apps are fickle.
Yesterday Facebook launched 12 media apps: for Buzzfeed, CBS Local (Los Angeles and New York), The Daily Show, Mashable, MTV News, TODAY Show, MSNBC.com, photo-sharing site Pixable, entertainment social network GetGlue, CMT (Country Music Television), SportingNews (coming in March) and The Huffington Post. Each app integrates into your Facebook account differently, depending on the how the media organization believes you want to experience the content. To install each app, click the name of the media organization on this link. After the jump, we walk you through three of the 12 new apps. Will you install these apps? If so, why? What useful alternate experience do these Facebook apps provide?
CBS Local New York: Install this social app directly from the CBS website. Unlike the Washington Post Social Reader, it does not install directly from the Facebook main site. When you turn the app on, stories you read will be added to your Facebook Timeline. Specify your audience for the social reader through your Facebook Activity Log. Otherwise, prepare to broadcast everything you read to all of your Facebook friends. Don't say we didn't warn you!
Visit MSNBC.com's media app, and it will send you straight to the news organization's website. This app is essentially just a compliment to the Facebook social plugin, which MSNBC is already using. You can see what your other Facebook friends have read and when. There is a pretty clear way to stop sharing, too, which is a nice touch coming from a monster-huge news organization.
Pixable is a useful way to view curated visual content from your Facebook friends. It provides beautiful layouts of your Facebook friends' photos, allowing you to view by varying degrees of most popular and most recent. It also looks a lot like Pinterest pinboards. On Pixable, users can also like and comment on photos, and tweet them out to Twitter followers. There's a Twitter-like way to sort recent and popular photos based on keywords, such as #funny, #cold, #sexy, #lol and others.
Pixable brings additional value to your Facebook visual content, displaying images as if they're are your very own glossy magazine.
UPDATED: Facebook reached out to us to explain how to install these apps. Contrary to what a typical user might believe, you should not search for the app itself using the Facebook search toolbar. To install the apps, follow the links from Facebook's Media page.
Have you been able to get these Facebook media apps to work? The following return some variation of fail messages, at least for me. CMT and The Daily Show both show up as "your session has timed out." The BuzzFeed app appears blank. The Today Show brings up a "Page Not Found" error message. The CMT.com app sent me to this page, which displays nothing at all. The GetGlue app brings up an "error, sorry the application you were using is misconfigured" message. The TODAY Show app brings up a "page you requested was not found." And even though SportingNews is listed as one of the 12 apps that Facebook launched yesterday, it's not launching until March 2012.
Have you tried out any of the new Facebook media apps? Tell us about it in the comments.