WO2015131272A1 - Method and system for exchanging information between members of a social networking system based on an aggregated list of contacts - Google Patents

Method and system for exchanging information between members of a social networking system based on an aggregated list of contacts Download PDF

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Publication number
WO2015131272A1
WO2015131272A1 PCT/CA2015/000137 CA2015000137W WO2015131272A1 WO 2015131272 A1 WO2015131272 A1 WO 2015131272A1 CA 2015000137 W CA2015000137 W CA 2015000137W WO 2015131272 A1 WO2015131272 A1 WO 2015131272A1
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WO
WIPO (PCT)
Prior art keywords
social networking
networking system
user
information
contact
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Application number
PCT/CA2015/000137
Other languages
French (fr)
Inventor
Mark SHARMA
Reginald MENDOZA
Original Assignee
Moingle Inc.
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Publication date
Priority to US201461949125P priority Critical
Priority to US61/949,125 priority
Application filed by Moingle Inc. filed Critical Moingle Inc.
Publication of WO2015131272A1 publication Critical patent/WO2015131272A1/en

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Classifications

    • GPHYSICS
    • G06COMPUTING; CALCULATING; COUNTING
    • G06QDATA PROCESSING SYSTEMS OR METHODS, SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR ADMINISTRATIVE, COMMERCIAL, FINANCIAL, MANAGERIAL, SUPERVISORY OR FORECASTING PURPOSES; SYSTEMS OR METHODS SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR ADMINISTRATIVE, COMMERCIAL, FINANCIAL, MANAGERIAL, SUPERVISORY OR FORECASTING PURPOSES, NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • G06Q50/00Systems or methods specially adapted for specific business sectors, e.g. utilities or tourism
    • G06Q50/01Social networking
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04LTRANSMISSION OF DIGITAL INFORMATION, e.g. TELEGRAPHIC COMMUNICATION
    • H04L51/00User-to-user messaging in packet-switching networks, transmitted according to store-and-forward or real-time protocols, e.g. e-mail
    • H04L51/52User-to-user messaging in packet-switching networks, transmitted according to store-and-forward or real-time protocols, e.g. e-mail for supporting social networking services

Abstract

A method and system for managing an exchange of information between members in a social networking system. The method including receiving information from a first member of the social networking system, said first member is integrated with an entity profile, wherein the integration is based on a first association between said first member and an entity, said first association is stored in a database of the social networking system; and sending the information to an electronic device of a contact of a second member of the social networking system, said second member is also integrated with the entity profile, wherein the integration is based on a second association between said second member and the entity, said second association is also stored in the database of the social networking system, wherein the contact not integrated with the entity profile. The method and system thus provide an extended list of contacts allowing members of a social networking system to connect, engage and send messages to individuals of the social networking system that are not integrated with a particular entity profile.

Description

METHOD AND SYSTEM FOR EXCHANGING INFORMATION BETWEEN MEMBERS OF A SOCIAL NETWORKING SYSTEM BASED ON AN AGGREGATED LIST OF CONTACTS
FIELD OF THE DISCLOSURE
[0001] The present disclosure relates generally to managing contacts, and collecting and sharing information in social networking.
BACKGROUND
[0002] An individual's online and physical presence often comprises information, various online profiles and social network profiles. Existing networking and social media tools do not adequately allow for the aggregation and control of an individual's or entity's personal and/or professional information in a central location. Existing networking and social media tools also do not adequately allow for customization and/or control of the personal and/or professional information.
[0003] Furthermore, existing tools do not adequately allow businesses to sufficiently utilize their employees' contacts and networks. Businesses therefore are missing an extraordinary opportunity to directly connect, market and engage with the contacts and networks of their employees.
[0004] In addition, existing tools and services do not adequately provide individuals with ways to access, evaluate, and/or view multiple professionals, other individuals, business or other entities, and to connect, engage and send direct messages to these people, in order to identify products and/or services that these people may need or desire.
SUMMARY
[0005] In at least one aspect, the present disclosure is directed to a computer- implemented method for managing the exchange of information between members in a social networking system, the method comprising receiving information from a first member of the social networking system integrated with an entity profile, where a member is integrated with an entity profile when an association between the two is stored in a database of the system, sending the information to an electronic device of a contact of a second member of the social networking system integrated with the entity profile, the contact not integrated with the entity profile. [0006] In at least another aspect, the present disclosure is directed to a computer-implemented method for managing contacts of a member in a social networking system, the method comprising receiving an external list of contacts for the member from a source external to the social networking system, comparing the contacts in the external contact list to contacts in a contact list of the member in the social networking system to identify one or more contacts in the external contact list but not in the social networking system contact list, and causing the one or more identified contacts to be displayed on an electronic device.
[0007] In at least another aspect, the present disclosure is directed to a computer-implemented method for managing contacts of members in a social networking system, the method comprising identifying a first member and a second member that are connected to one another in the system, the first and second members each having a profile in the system, determining the first and second members have associated a common third party platform account with their respective profiles and the third party platform accounts of the first and second members are not connected to one another in the common third party platform, and causing, in response to the determining, a request to connect indication to be sent to the third party platform account of the first or second member in the third party platform. [0008] In at least another aspect, the present disclosure is directed to a computer-implemented method in a social networking system, the method comprising transmitting, from a first electronic device, information for creating an event, the information indicating of a geographical location to be associated with the event, determining the presence of a second electronic device within a predefined distance from the geographical location associated with the event, and transmitting, from the first electronic device, information for the second electronic device.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
[0009] The present disclosure will be better understood having regard to the drawings in which:
[0010] Figure 1 is a representation of an example computer network according to at least one embodiment;
[0011] Figure 2A is a flow diagram representing a process for a first time access to a social networking system in at least one embodiment;
[0012] Figure 2B is a block diagram showing an example member account with different profiles in at least one embodiment; [0013] Figures 3 to 19 are example graphical user interface screen displays in one or more embodiments of the present disclosure;
[0014] Figure 20 is a flow diagram representing a process for adding contacts to a contact list in at least one embodiment;
[0015] Figures 21 to 32 are example graphical user interface screen displays in one or more embodiments of the present disclosure;
[0016] Figure 33 is a table containing example names of various tables and data fields within the tables for organizing data in at least one embodiment of the present social networking system; [0017] Figure 34 is a diagram of an example configuration of an entity account and a plurality of social networking system members integrated with business account in at least one embodiment;
[0018] Figure 35 is a diagram of an example configuration of a plurality of entity accounts and a plurality of social networking system members integrated with one of the entity accounts;
[0019] Figures 36 to 48 are example graphical user interface screen displays in one or more embodiments of the present disclosure; and
[0020] Figure 49 is a block diagram of an example electronic device in at least one embodiment.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION
[0021] The present methods, systems and devices are described having reference to one or more embodiments in the following disclosure with reference to the Figures. However, the scope of the present disclosure is not intended to be limited to these embodiments.
[0022] In one aspect, the present disclosure is directed to a social networking service, tool, or platform (sometimes referred to herein as a "social networking system") that allows users (or "members") to aggregate and centralize their personal and professional information. Such information may include phone numbers, email addresses, names, employment, position, etc. A user may create one or more personal/professional profiles via a user interface of a device operating in a social network. The profile may be referred to as a "mark". A user may associate one or more social networks with their personal/professional profile. Furthermore, a user may have one or more contact lists ("rolodex"), which may be at least partially generated by pulling out some or all of the contacts from another source (e.g. user's phonebook, social media account, etc.) that have a personal/professional account. Two or more users may connect with one another (add each other to their contact lists) when one user sends their mark to the other user.
[0023] In some embodiments, two members may be "connected" to one another in the system when the members appear in each other's contact list. Such an association between members may be stored in the system, for instance at a system server or database. In some embodiments, connected members may be able to view or access more information in the profiles of their connections compared to non-connected members. [0024] In at least some embodiments, the social networking system may automatically connect two members when both members have "searchable" (e.g. not private) profiles and are connected in at least one common third party platform that each member has associated with their profile. For example, two members may have associated their Linkedln™ accounts with their profiles. If the two members are connected on Linkedln and have searchable social networking system profiles, the system may automatically connect the two members in the system. Connecting may include adding each member to the contact list of the other member.
[0025] When a user has two or more profiles associated with their account, their account may be considered multi-dimensional as it comprises multiple different profiles. For example, a user may have a personal profile and two professional profiles. The user's account may therefore be thought of as being multidimensional with each different profile constituting a dimension. A user may then share some or all of their profiles with other users. Figure 2B is a block diagram showing an example member account with different profiles in at least one embodiment. [0026] The social networking system may also allow for the creation of business account or other types of account. Although the term "business" account is used herein, the present disclosure applies to any other type of non-personal account. A personal or professional profile of a user may be integrated with a business account or other account. This may be referred to a first level of integration. An example is shown in Figure 34 of user profiles 3404 integrated with a business account 3402. A business account may be similar to a personal account in that it can comprise contact information, email addresses and one or more associated social networks or other third party platforms or services. Other users with personal accounts may be integrated with the business account. For example, an administrator of the business account may select users to add to (integrate) the business account. In an example, the users may be employees of the business associated with the business account. An administrator or other integrated user may push information out (e.g. spotlight, broadcast, etc.) from the business account to some or all users integrated with the business account. This information may in turn be pushed from the users out to some or all of the users in each user's contact list (rolodex). In this way, a business (or other entity) has access to an extended network comprising the contacts of the users of the business. [0027] When a profile is integrated with another account, the association may be stored in a storage medium of the system, for example a system database.
[0028] In at least some embodiments, a member may be able to subscribe to the profile of another member without connecting with the other member. A subscribed member may be able to receive or view information posted to or otherwise related to the subscribed profile, including but not limited to a news feed or a spotlight of the profile. [0029] The social networking system may also allow for the collection of statistics and the generation of analytics. These may be collected both for a business account and user accounts or profiles. For example, statistics can include the total number of users integrated with or subscribed to the business account, total number of contacts or subscribers of each integrated user, total number of contacts or subscribers for all integrated users, and engagement activity associated with each user and with the business. Engagement activity may include the number of forwarding engagements, email engagements, telephone engagements, and social media engagements. Other activities may include sends and spotlight uploads.
[0030] Figure 1 shows an example system 100 according to the present disclosure comprising at least one server 120, at least one database 122 in communication with server 120, and one or more electronic devices 110, 112, 114 capable of communicating with server 120 via one or more networks 130. The one or more networks may include any type or types of suitable networks or other data connection, including but not limited to the internet. The electronic devices are not limited to the types shown, but instead may be any type of suitable device, including but not limited to smart phones, tablet computers, laptop computers and desktop computers. Furthermore, although only a limited number of devices, servers, and databases are shown, it is to be understood that any configuration or any number of these or other computer components may be used in embodiments of the present disclosure.
[0031] Figure 1 also shows an example third party server 140 and database 142, with which one or more of server 120 and devices 110, 112, 114 may communicate with over network 130. Electronic device 144 may be a device used by a member of a third party social networking or other platform, which may communicate with third party server 140. [0032] Figure 2A shows a flow chart representing an example process for a first time access to the social networking system. The process starts at block 202 and proceeds to block 204 in which access is initiated to the system. Access will often be initiated by a user of the system, although this is not necessarily always the case. For example, a user may initiate access when he or she wishes to begin using the social networking system for the first time or wants to create a new account.
[0033] The process then proceeds to block 206 where some social networking system software may be installed on the device of a user. The software may include but is not limited to a client software or application. The software may be acquired from any suitable source over any suitable means, for example from one or more servers or websites over the internet. In other embodiments, a user may access the social networking system using a web browser on a client device, where the device may communicate directly or indirectly with a server of social networking system over a network. Other options are possible.
[0034] Once the software has been installed on the user device, the process then proceeds to block 208, where a user account may be created. An account may comprise a unique identifier, such as an email address or phone number, and a username. One or more user profiles may then be created and associated with the user account. In at least one embodiment, the first profile created for an account is a personal profile. Other profiles, such as one or more professional profiles, may be created at a later time.
[0035] Once the software has been installed on the user device and started up, the device may present an initial screen display, such as the screen shown in Figure 3. The user may select the option of creating a new account from this screen (e.g. "Sign up"). The device may then display a screen for creating a new user account, such as the screen shown in Figure 4. [0036] In at least one embodiment, a user account may be created using personal information of the user. This information may include a personal email address. The user may be prompted to enter a new username for the social networking system as well as a password. The device may send some or all of this information to server 120 for registration or verification.
[0037] Each user account in the social networking system may be identified with a unique identifier. The identifier may be an email address or any other suitable identifier. The device may then communicate some or all of this information to server 120 for confirmation and/or storage. Upon receiving the personal information of the user, server 120 may compare some of the user information to information already existing in database 122 to determine if any user entries already exist in the database having the same unique identifier. A user may be prevented from creating a new user profile using the same unique identifier as an existing profile. For example, if server 120 locates another account associated with the proposed unique identifier (e.g. email address, username, etc.), the device may present an appropriate indication on the device. For example, Figure 5 shows an example message presented on the display of the device.
[0038] Once a unique identifier has been assigned to the new account, and other information has been entered, for example a user password, the process proceeds to block 210, where one or more profiles are created. As mentioned above, in some embodiments, a user may first create a personal profile. Account information and profile may be stored at a server or database of the system.
[0039] A personal profile may comprise any suitable type of personal information, including one or more of the following information of the specific user: title, first name, last name, nick name, country, phone number(s), one or more social media homepages, profile image, and home address(es). In at least some embodiments, a personal profile comprises primarily of personal information, meaning information that is not necessarily related to the user's professional or career related information and activities, such as the user's career, employment, certifications, education, professional training, etc. The device may prompt the user to enter or select his or her personal information. For example, Figure 6 shows an example input screen prompting a user to enter his or her name.
[0040] The device may display a prompt for other types of information to be included in the personal profile. This may include a home country and mobile phone number, as shown in the example input screen of Figure 7. In addition, this information may include the identification of and information relating to one or more social media or other platforms of the user. An example screen is shown in Figure 8. For example, a user may be able to input or select one or more URLs or other links to one or more of their social networking accounts or other types of accounts or pages (e.g. www.facebook.com/JohnSmith). In at least some embodiments, a user may be able to sign-in to one or more of their external social media accounts, or any other type of account, via the social networking system. This may allow the social networking system to gain access to information in the user's social media account, for example their contact lists. This type of access may be possible by using an application programming interface (API) of the external account. [0041] The device may present a list of third party social media or other platforms. However, it may be possible to select other social media or other platforms not presented in the list, for example, by entering information about the platform into the device, such as an internet address of the platform.
[0042] In block 208, once the minimum information for a new user profile has been supplied, the information may be presented for the user's review. An opportunity may be provided to edit the supplied information before the new profile is created. [0043] The device may then prompt for one or more images to be associated with the personal profile, as shown in the example screen of Figure 9. The image may be selectable from an image gallery or may be uploaded. An image may also be selected from among saved photos, a new photo may be taken, or an image may be retrieved from a third party platform (e.g. Facebook or Linkedln).
[0044] A personal profile may have other settings that can be configured by a user. For example, a personal profile may have privacy settings that control how information in the profile is viewable by others. In one embodiment, a profile may be designated as a "searchable" profile or a "private" profile. Example screens showing such settings are shown in Figure 10 and Figure 11. In at least one embodiment, "searchable" may indicate that any user in the contact list of the user is able to view all the information in the profile, and "private" may indicate only specific other designated users may view the information. These are of course merely examples. Other privacy options and settings are possible.
[0045] Once information for personal profile has been entered or selected, and any settings have been configured, the device may present a screen indicating that the creation of the personal profile is complete. An example screen is shown in Figure 12. The device may also display a prompt for the creation of another profile to be associated with the specific user account as also shown in Figure 12. In at least one embodiment, an additional profile may be a professional profile.
[0046] If the device receives an indication that no further profiles are to be created at this time, then the device may display an option for reviewing some or all of the information that was entered for the personal profile. The information in the profile may then be reviewed and may also be edited if desired. [0047] In at least some embodiments, some or all of the information entered in a personal or professional profile may be communicated from the device to the server at some point in time. For example, the information may be communicated on the go as it is entered, or may be communicated once all information for the profile has been entered and reviewed.
[0048] In at least some embodiments, one or more professional profiles may be created and associated with a user account and/or personal profile. Information in a professional profile may include a user's professional or career related information and activities, such as the user's career, employment, certifications, education, professional training, etc.
[0049] A user device may prompt for various types of information for a new professional profile. Such information may include a job title, profession, employer name, one or more website links, city, state or province, country, postal or zip code, street address, and social media homepage. An example input screen showing these types of input fields is shown in Figure 13. The device may prompt for other information, for example one or more phone numbers, a work email address, and/or a work address. An example input screen showing these types of fields is shown in Figure 14. Another example screen showing input fields for various types of phone numbers, such as a mobile number, work number, office number, and fax number is shown in Figure 15. Figure 16 shows yet another example input screen having various fields relating to a work street address. Information relating to one or more social media or other platforms to be associated with the new professional profile may also be entered or selected. This may be done in a same or similar way as for a personal profile as previously described. For instance, Figure 8 is an example input screen for selecting one or more social networks. [0050] Similar to a personal profile, one or more images may be associated with a professional profile. An image may be selected from any suitable location, including from a gallery or from among images on the user device. An image may also be taken using the user device if the device is equipped with a camera. [0051] In addition, also similar to a personal profile, one or more privacy settings may be configured for a professional profile. In at least one embodiment, a profile may be designated as a "searchable" profile or a "private" profile. Example screens showing such settings are shown in Figure 17 and Figure 18. In at least one embodiment, "searchable" may indicate that any user in the contact list of the user is able to view all the information in the profile, and "private" may indicate only specific other designated users may view the information. In some embodiments (not shown), contact information (e.g. email address, phone number, etc.) or other information of a member profile may only be made available to another member or person upon explicit authorization by the member. For example, a user interface may be provided to allow a first member to request authorization to view the contact information of a second member. The second member may then receive a notification of the request and may then decide whether or not to grant the request. These are only examples. Other privacy options and configurations are possible. [0052] Once information for professional profile has been entered or selected, and any settings have been configured, the device may present a screen indicating that the creation of the professional profile is complete. An example screen is shown in Figure 19. The device may also display a prompt for the creation of another profile to be associated with the specific user account as also shown in Figure 19.
[0053] If the device receives an indication that no further profiles are to be created at this time, then the device may display an option for reviewing some or all of the information that was entered for the profile. The information in the profile may then be reviewed and may also be edited.
[0054] The process shown in Figure 2 then proceeds from block 210 to block 212 where the one or more new profiles may be confirmed. For example, server 120 may send a confirmation email to the user email address associated with the user account. A confirmation email may also be sent to an email address associated with a professional profile if this address differs from the email address associated with the user account or personal profile. The confirmation email(s) may require some user action, such as clicking a link embedded in the email or going to a website and performing some action, to confirm the identity of the user. Upon confirmation, the new user account and one or more profiles are activated.
[0055] After one or more profiles have been created, a user device may display the one or profiles associated with a user account in a list. The device may allow for the selection of one of the profiles, for example, to allow for the review, editing or deactivation of the profile.
[0056] Once at least one profile has been created for a user account, one or more contact lists (or "rolodexes") may be generated. A contact list may be stored in the system, for example at a server or database of the system. In at least one embodiment, a user contact list is a list of other users that have an account in the social networking system and with whom the user has connected. A user may have a contact list for their user account. For example, a user may have a general contact list for use with all of their profiles. In addition or alternatively, there may be contact lists for specific profiles of a user. For example, it is possible to have a first contact list for a personal profile and a second contact list for a professional profile. These are only examples and other configurations are possible. [0057] Figure 20 is a flow chart representing a process for generating a contact list according to at least one embodiment. The process begins at block 2002 and proceeds to block 2004 where one or more external sources of contacts may be selected. The source may be any suitable source. For example, the source may be a phonebook or other contact directory on the user device. The contact source may also be a social media account, for example a Facebook or Linkedln™ account. These are only examples. Figure 21 shows an example screen display providing the options of "Phonebook" and "Facebook".
[0058] Once the one or more external sources of contacts is selected, the process proceeds to block 2006 where the external contacts are compared to a list of users in the social networking system, for example on server 120 or in database 122, to identify any external contacts that also have a user account in the social networking system. The list of external contacts may then be displayed on the user device indicating which contacts also have a user account in the social networking system. The external contacts that were found to not have user accounts in the social networking system may also be displayed.
[0059] Continuing with the example shown in Figure 21 , it is assumed that the option "Phonebook" was selected. The results of the comparison are displayed on the user device, as shown in the example screen of Figure 22. Here the actual names of contacts would be displayed rather than "Full Name". External contacts from the phonebook that also have user accounts in the social networking system are indicated on the screen with indicators 2202. Other external contacts that were found to not have user accounts in the social networking system may also be displayed on the screen, here below those users that have user accounts. In this example, the contacts not registered with the networking system (i.e. not members) do not have an indicator 2202 beside their names. [0060] External contacts from one or more additional sources may be added to a list of a user's external contacts. For example, a list of a user's Facebook friends may be imported and searched in the system database. In addition, as previously described, in some embodiments the social networking system may automatically connect two members when both members have "searchable" (e.g. not private) profiles and are connected in at least one common third party platform that each member has associated with their profile.
[0061] The comparison of external contacts to a list of users at server 120 or database 122 may be performed in any suitable way. In at least one embodiment, one or more phone numbers of an external contact may be compared to phone numbers of users in database 122. Matches may then be identified. Other fields may be used in addition to or in place of phone numbers. For example, matching users may be identified using email address only, or phone numbers and email address, etc. Other search criteria or parameters may be used. In situations where more than one search criteria is used, a single contact that resulted in multiple matches (e.g. one match based on a matching phone number and one match based on a matching email address) may only be displayed as a single result on the user device.
[0062] In at least one embodiment, the results of the comparison of external contacts with contacts having user accounts in database 122 may only display users having at least one profile designated as "searchable" instead of "private". If all of a user's profiles are set to "private", then the user may not be displayed in any search results.
[0063] In some embodiments, it may possible to toggle between different views of returned matched contacts. In one embodiment, only the external contacts that also have user accounts in the social networking system are displayed. The external contacts that are not found to have user accounts in the social networking system are hidden.
[0064] Once the external contacts that also have user accounts in the social networking system have been identified, the public (or "searchable") profile(s) of these contacts may be viewed if desired. Figure 23 is an example screen display showing a user whose profile(s) are all private. The types and amount of information that is displayed about a given user may depend on the privacy settings of the user. For example, if another user has a profile that is set to "searchable" (e.g. public), then some of the user's information will be viewable in the search results. This information may include a profile picture of the user's profile, a list of the user's social networks, one or more website links, etc. An example screen display showing details of a user is shown in Figure 23a. Other information of the user may be viewable in the search results depending on the privacy settings of the particular user profile. Figure 24 shows another example of a screen display for the same user shown in Figure 23a showing contact information (phone number and email address). Figure 25 shows an alternative example where no contact information is displayed for the same user.
[0065] Once the external contacts that also have user accounts in the social networking system have been identified, the process of Figure 20 proceeds to block 2008 where one or more of the identified contacts may be selected to be sent invitations to "connect". Contacts may be selected and sent invitations individually or as a group. In one embodiment, all external contacts that are found to have user accounts in the social networking system may be sent invitations to connect at once. In some embodiments, rather than sending external contacts invitations to connect, the user may simply connect to one or more external contacts having accounts in the social networking system (e.g. the contacts are members). Furthermore, in some embodiments, the system may allow one or more contacts in a contact list (e.g. rolodex) of a user in the social networking system to be pushed, exported, or added to an external list of contacts. For example, contacts of the user in the system may be added to a contact list (e.g. phonebook, my contacts, etc.) on the user's electronic device or to any other contact list. Furthermore, a user may be able to set or use a contact list in the social networking system as a contact list on an electronic device. For example, a user may be able to set a contact list in their personal profile (or other profile) as a default contact list on their mobile device. In some embodiments, this may involve the contact list being communicated from the system to the user electronic device for local storage on the device. [0066] The process then proceeds to block 2010 where invitations are sent or otherwise indicated to one or more contacts identified in previous block 2008. The process then proceeds to block 2014 and ends.
[0067] In some of the Figures, the option of sending an invitation to another user is referred to as "sending a mark". As mentioned above, a "mark" refers to a user's personal or professional information, and may comprise one or more of a user's personal and professional profiles.
[0068] Where an invitation to connect is sent or otherwise indicated to a contact that has a user account in the social networking system, this "pending" status may be indicated to the user. An example screen display showing a pending status for a contact is shown in Figure 26. In addition, the contact may be alerted to the invitation. The contact may then choose whether or not to accept the invitation. For example, the contact may be provided with a notification in an "alerts" page or window on their user device. An example screen display is shown in Figure 27 indicating that Mike Johnson wants to connect and indicating the time that the invitation was sent. If the contact accepts the invitation, then the contact may be added to the user's contact list (rolodex) and the user may be added to the contact's contact list. The user may also be alerted that the contact has accepted the indication by way of a notification. The previous "pending" status in the list of contacts may also be changed to reflect the change of status. Figure 28 shows an example screen display in which the "pending" has been changed to a checkmark. [0069] Where an invitation to connect is sent or otherwise indicated to a contact that does not have a user account in the social networking system, the invitation may be sent to the contact via other means. For example, an invitation may be sent via email, text message, or by any other suitable manner. In at least one embodiment, a native phone book entry of the contact may be displayed with an option to send the invite, possibly with an automated message. The invite may indicate that the requesting user wants to connect with them on the social networking system and invite the contact to sign up (or "register") with the system. In at least some embodiments, the invite may contain additional information relating to the user sending the invitation, such as contact information (e.g. phone number, email address, vCard, etc.).
[0070] In addition, in at least one embodiment, the social networking system may save or remember at least some of the contact information of a contact to whom an invitation has been sent but is not a member of the social networking system. The information may be stored on a system server or database. The saved contact information may include at least the contact information to which the invite is sent, for example a phone number or an email address. In some embodiments, the social networking system may save additional contact information. The social networking system may then associate this saved contact information with the requesting user so that if the contact signs up with the system using any of this saved contact information, the social networking system will recognize that the newly signed up user has been previously invited to connect with at least one user in the social networking system. The contact may then be automatically sent invitations within the networking system corresponding to the invitations that were sent to the contact when the contact was not of the social networking system.
[0071] For example, consider a situation where a person is not a member of the social networking system and ten members invite the person to connect via the networking system. Some of the ten members may send an invite via text using the person's phone number and other users may send an invite to the person's email address. The phone number and email address may be saved in the social networking system. Therefore if the person ever signs up for the system using either or both of the phone number and the email address, the social networking system may identify this occurrence and may then send or otherwise indicate the invitations that were sent to the person using the phone number and/or email address in the person's new account. For example, upon signing up for the system, a list of all pending invitations may be shown in the new user's account. Figure 27 is an example screen display showing a user's pending incoming invitations.
[0072] In addition, when a person who has received one or more invites signs up for the system, this occurrence may be reflected or indicated to the users that have sent the invites. For example, the person may now be indicated as a registered user (e.g. member) of the system in the list of external contacts of the user who sent the invitation. Using the example screen display shown in Figure 22, an indicator 2202 may now be shown beside the person's name indicating the person is now a member of the social networking system. Furthermore, in some embodiments, one or more invites that were sent to a user before the user became a member may be displayed to the new member once the member joins the social networking system. The new member may then accept one or more of the invitations to connect. [0073] In some embodiments, in addition to or alternatively to sending invitations to connect to other users and contacts using a list of external contacts, it may be possible to search for other members. Searching may be performed using any suitable field or query. For example, searches may be conducted using other users' email addresses, names, usernames, phone numbers, etc. Figure 29 shows an example screen display for a user search function. Again, "send your mark" means sending an invite to another user to connect. Figure 30 shows an example screen displaying a search result for the query "mark". The user may then send the returned user an invitation to connect if desired. [0074] In addition, in some embodiments, it may be possible for a user to identify another user using any suitable technology, including but not limited to near field communication (NFC), Wifi™ or Bluetooth™. For example, a device of a first user device may be in proximity to device of a second user. Through the social networking system application, the device of the first user may identify the device of the second user and indicate this to the first user on his/her device. The first user may be provided with the option to engage the second user, for example to send an invitation to the second user.
[0075] In at least some embodiments, members may be able to search or discover other members located in a defined geographical area. In some embodiments, a member may be able to create an event or a place marker and associate it with a geographic location such as geographic coordinates. A predefined distance from the geographic location may be set. A radius may be set to any distance, for example 20 meters, 50 meters, 100 meters, etc. Members may then be able to search or discover other members located within the radius of the location. In some embodiments, the creator member of an event may invite other members to join the event. In addition, information relating to the event may be communicated to a member who has been sent an invite to join the event. For example, communicated information may be displayed in the news feed of the invited member. In some embodiments, a device of a member located within or near the predefined distance from the location of the event may become aware of the event, for example by being automatically notified of the event or by searching for nearby events. The device may then indicate any other members that are located within the predefined distance from the event. A member may be able to "join" the event and maybe able to view a list of all other members that have joined the event. "Joining" an event may involve an association between the member and the event being stored in a database of the system. Identification of locations may be enabled at a user device using GPS Global Positioning System (GPS) signals, WiFi™, or any other means of determining a location of a user device.
[0076] As an example, a member may attend a networking event where the member creates an event using the social networking system. A location of the member's device when the event is created may be associated with the event and a radius around this location may be set. This information may be transmitted to a system server or to a device of another member. A server may store a record of the event, its location and possibly a predefined distance surrounding the event. The member may then be able search for or otherwise discover or detect other members located within this radius. In some embodiments, the member device may detect the presence of another member by receiving information indicating the presence of the other member device. In one embodiment, this information may be sent to the member device by a system server. In some embodiments, the member device may notify another member of its presence by causing a notification to be communicated to the other member device. The member and one or other members may then become aware of one another and may exchange information via their devices. The exchanged information may include two or members connecting, subscribing, integrating, etc. Information may be exchanged via a system server, directly between member devices, or in any other way. In some embodiments, the event may be shared with other members allowing other members to discover the event. Furthermore, in some embodiments, a list of members that have joined an event may be viewable by other members.
[0077] In at least one embodiment, an invitation to connect may comprise more than a mere invitation. For example, an invitation to connect may also include the sharing of some personal or professional information with the recipient, such as one or more personal or professional profiles. Therefore not only will a recipient receive an invitation to connect, but they will also be able to view the information shared by the invitee. Figure 31 shows an example display providing a user with options of what information to share in an invitation, for example which of the user's profiles to share with the recipient. In the example, the profiles "Jdj" and "Hdj" have been selected to be shared.
[0078] A user may be able to navigate and select various options in the social networking system by way of one or more menus, which may be part of some client software. Figure 32 is an example screen display showing an example navigation menu. The "Personal" option allows for the viewing and possibly editing of the user's personal profile. The menu may also allow for the selection of one of one or more professional profiles, for example the "Letsmark" option shown in the Figure 32. Other options may be provided, including for creating a new profile ("+ Profile"), importing a list of external contacts ("Find & Connect"), spreading the word about the social networking system, for example by text message, by email, by posting on other social networking platforms, etc. ("Share"), changing account settings, and signing out.
[0079] In some embodiments, a user interface of the social networking system may allow a user to select or input one or more credentials of a third party platform or service, for instance, to obtain access to information contained in the third party platform (e.g. contacts or list of contacts) or to perform an action in the third party platform (e.g. send a request to connect, follow, etc., send a message, etc.). In one example, a user interface may enable a user to enter a username and password of a third party social network. Referring to Figure 1 , a device 110, 112, 114 of the user may forward the inputted credentials directly to a server 140 of the third party platform for authentication and access to their third party account. In another embodiment, device 110, 112, 114 of the user may forward the credentials to system server 120, which may then forward the credentials to third party server 140. In other embodiments, user credentials may be communicated to a third party server or other electronic device along a different route. Third party server 140 may communicate information back to system server 120 or to a user device 110, 112, 114.
[0080] In some embodiments, the social networking system may facilitate or encourage a new connection between two member in a third party social network or other third party platform (e.g. Facebook, Linkedln, Instagram, etc.) when the members have linked the third party platform to one of their personal or professional profiles. In other words, the social networking system may identify when two members have a same third party platform linked to their profiles but are not connected in the third party social media platform (e.g. are not connected on Linkedln). The system may identify such a situation based on data stored in a system database, for example by searching or scanning the data. The social networking system may facilitate or encourage the two members to connect on the third party platform, for example by sending or causing to be sent one or more requests to connect or otherwise associate from at least one member to the other in the third party platform. A request may include a request to connect, become "friends", follow, subscribe, etc. Referring to Figure 1 , in some embodiments, the social networking system may cause a message or indication to be sent, form example from a system server 120 or other computer or electronic device 110, 112, 114, to a server 140, database 142, other computer or electronic device of the third party platform to trigger a request to connect in the third party platform. Furthermore, in some embodiments, the system may allow a member to toggle this functionality on or off to prevent or allow the automatic facilitation of new connections in third party platforms.
[0081] Under account settings, it may be possible to change one or more pieces of information or settings for an account, such as username, email address, etc. A user may also have an option of deactivating an account.
[0082] Information in the social networking system may be stored in one or more databases, such as database 122 shown in Figure 1.
[0083] Figure 33 shows the names of various tables and some possible fields within the tables that may be used to organize and store data in the social networking system. The number and types of tables, as well as the fields shown, are only examples and are not intended to be limiting.
[0084] A table tbl_users may be used to maintain a listing of all members in the social networking system. Each user may be identified by way of a unique ID, which may be any suitable unique ID. A unique ID may be an email address, username or any other field or combination of fields. In some embodiments, a unique ID may be a sequentially assigned or randomly generated number or alpha numeric string. Other options are possible.
[0085] A tbl_users table may include one or more of the following fields: Email Id, User Name, Password, and Date of Birth. For example, in some embodiments, one or more profiles of a user account may be associated with a unique email address. Once associated with a profile, the email address may not be used or registered by any other user account.
[0086] As previously described, in some embodiments, a check is performed at registration to determine if an inputted piece of information, such as email address or username, already exists in the database. Registration using this inputted information may be denied if another entry already exists with the same information. For example, a new user may be prevented from creating a new account using an email address that is already associated with another account.
[0087] A table tbl _personal may be used for storing information in a user's personal profile. Fields in this table may include: Title, First Name, Last Name, Nick Name, Country, Mobile, User Social Page URL, Personal Profile Image, and Profile Setting (Either Searchable or Private).
[0088] A table tbl professional may be used for storing information in a user's professional profile. Fields in this table may include: Job Title or Profession, Company Name, Website link, Mobile number, Work number, Office number, Fax number, Country, State, City, Address linel , Address Iine2, Zipcode, Social Page URL, and Profile Setting (Either Searchable or Private with authorization).
[0089] Information for a contact list (e.g. rolodex) of a user may be stored in a tbl_rolodex. Fields in this table may include: Rolodex_id, Contact_id, User id, Personal, Profession, and Notes_id.
[0090] Various activities of users may be tracked and stored in tbl_activity. For example, the table may store the invitations sent by a user and received by the user. The statuses of various activities may also be stored, such as for example that a sent invitation is still "pending" or has been "accepted". [0091] A table tbl_alerts may include information relating to user activity, including for example the storage and tracking of user alerts. For example, a user may be alerted when they receive an invitation from another user, or when another user accepts their invitation.
[0092] A table tbl_notes may be used to store information relating to a user's notes, for example notes on other users. The table may be related to the tbl_rolodex table. [0093] A tbl_Newprofile may be used to track and store information on new potential users whose client device may not be a primary supported device. The stored information may include the device type of the potential user and contact information of the user. Information may then be sent to potential users to inform them whether their device type is supported by the social networking system and if, so, where they may obtain the appropriate software for their device (e.g. client software).
[0094] Again, the above described tables and fields are only examples and are not intended to be limiting. [0095] According to another aspect, the present disclosure is directed to a method of integrating a business account or other account or profile with one or more users. The term "business account" is used herein for descriptive purposes. However, this is not limiting. This type of account may be used for non-business related purposes. In addition, a non-business account may be used.
[0096] In at least one embodiment, a business account is integrated with one or more existing social networking system users. The business account provides one or more associations between the one or more integrated users and the business account. These associations may be used for any suitable purpose, for example sharing and/or receiving information with the users, tracking user productivity, and collecting or monitoring any other data or metrics. An association between a profile and an integrated user may be stored in the system, for instance in a system database.
[0097] Figure 34 is a diagram showing an example configuration of a business or other entity account 3402 and a plurality of social networking system members 3404 that are integrated with business account 3402. In at least some embodiments, a business account is merely another type of profile similar to a personal or professional profile. A business account may be "integrated" with users by connecting user accounts to the business account (business account).
[0098] An example of a local bank branch is used to describe an example scenario. It is assumed that some or all of the employees of the branch are registered users of the social networking system. An employee of the branch (e.g. manager) may create a business or corporate account for the branch. The manager may be an administrator of the business account. The manager may then choose to integrate the new business account with the user accounts of at least some of the employees. Once the user accounts of other employees are integrated with the branch business account, the manager may be able to communicate with the employees via the social networking system. The manager may also be able to monitor performance metrics of the employees.
[0099] Furthermore, an administrator or other integrated user may send information out from the business account to some or all users integrated with the business account. This information may in turn be sent from the integrated users out to some or all of the users in each integrated user's contact list (rolodex). In other embodiments, information may be sent from the business account directly to one or more contacts of the integrated users. In some embodiments, information may be communicated to one or more external contacts of one or more integrated users. An external contact may be a contact of a user that does not have an account in the social networking system. Contact lists 3406 of integrated users 3404 are shown in Figure 34. In this way, a business (or other entity) may have access to an extended network comprising at least some of the contacts of its integrated users. The sending of information to a user or an external contact may involve causing information to be displayed or otherwise outputted on an electronic device of the user or external contact. [00100] These are merely some examples of the types of functionality that may be implemented between the business account and the users that have been integrated with the business account.
[00101] In at least some embodiments, one or more additional "layers" of integration may be possible. Figure 35 is a diagram showing an example configuration of a plurality of business or other entity accounts 3502 and a plurality of social networking system members 3504 that are integrated with one of business accounts 3502. Some or all of business accounts 3502 may be integrated with one or more higher-level accounts 3508, here called enterprise accounts. In addition, one or more social networking system members 3504 may be directly integrated with one or more enterprise accounts 3508. The integration of one or more members or business accounts with an enterprise account may be referred to as a second level of integration. As previously described, the integration of a member profile with a business account is referred to as a first level of integration. Members 3504 may have one or more contact lists 3506.
[00102] Information may flow between and through the various entities. In the bank branch example described above, an enterprise account may represent a regional, national or other headquarters of the bank. For example, a regional headquarters could oversee all of the branches in a designated region. [00103] The creation of a business account and the integration of one or more users with the account are now described.
[00104] An existing user may select one of their profiles, such as a professional profile, and creates a business account. The user may become a default administrator of the business account. The user may be prompted to enter or select information for the new business account, for example one or more external social networks that may be associated with the business account, one or more phone numbers of the business, address information, and one or more images to be used as a business account image. Example screen displays allowing for the inputting of these types of information is shown in Figures 36 to 39.
[00105] The administrator may then attempt to integrate one or more other users with the business account. Users may be selected by the administrator for integration in any suitable way. For example, users may be selected from the administrator's contact list (rolodex). Figure 40 shows an example screen display showing such an option ("Browse Rolodex"). Figure 41 shows an example screen display showing users in the administrator's contact list, with some of the users having been selected for integration as indicated by the checkmarks. Invites are then indicated or sent to the selected users to connect with or "integrate" the business account.
[00106] An administrator may also invite non-users to sign up to the social networking system and then be integrated with the business account. An administrator may send or indicate invites to non-users in any suitable way, for example via email. Figure 42 shows yet another example screen display with an email field into which an email address of a non-user may be input and an invitation sent.
[00107] Once a business account has been created, the administrator may be provided with login information for logging in to the business account. The administrator may also be directed to obtain and install additional software on their client device for administering and managing the business account.
[00108] The administration of a business or enterprise account is now described. Although the following is described with reference to a business account, it may equally apply to the administration of one or more enterprise accounts. [00109] In at least one embodiment, administrative functions may be performed via an administrative portal, for example a separate administration application.
[00110] A user with administrator privileges may give other users, possibly users integrated with the business account, administrative privileges. Figure 43 shows an example screen display for managing the privileges of a user ("Ray Mendoza"). For example, in some embodiments, one or more users may have super administrative privileges, which allow the user to give other users administrative privileges. An administrator may also have an ability to manage a master channel of the business account. A master channel may be an information channel available to some or all users integrated with the business account. In some embodiments, a master channel may be made available to some or all subscribers of an account or profile. In some embodiments, a subscribe functionality of a business account or enterprise account may be toggled on or off, for example by an account administrator. Thus in some embodiments, an administrator may be able to control one or both of which users are able to post information on the channel and the content of the posts.
[00111] Furthermore, in at least some embodiments, a business account may be provided to a user, business or other entity for a fee. Therefore means to effect payment of the fee or fees may be provided by the social networking system. The means to effect payment may be incorporated into the administrative portal of the business account.
[00112] The sharing of information with users associated with a business account is now described. In some embodiments, an administrator of a business account may be able to share information. In addition, information may be shared by others, for example a non-administrator integrated user. Information may be shared with one or more users that are integrated into the business account. In some embodiments, information may be shared with contacts of integrated users. In this sense, the shared information is able to reach beyond the integrated users of the business account.
[00113] One type of information sharing is a broadcast. A broadcast may be regarded as a "push" of information, meaning users do not have to take any active steps to obtain the information. Rather, the information is pushed to them.
[00114] An example according to at least one embodiment of how a broadcast may be sent is now described. Again, this is only an example and is therefore not meant to be limiting. [00115] An administrator may select the business account to which he wants to send a broadcast. The broadcast may include any type of information, including but not limited to one or more images, and a URL. An image may originate from any suitable source. A caption, title, description or other information relating to the information to be broadcast may be added. The information may then be broadcasted to some or all users that are integrated or connected with the business account from which the broadcast is sent. In some embodiments, a broadcast may be further communicated to one or more contacts in a contact list (e.g. rolodex) of one or more users integrated with the business account. [00116] Figure 44 is an example screen display showing a broadcast received at a user's device. The broadcast comprises an image, a title and a caption.
[00117] In the situation where a URL is broadcasted, a broadcasting user may enter the URL to be shared. Other information may be sent with the URL, such as a caption or description, an image, etc. On a receiving user's end, content associated with the URL may be displayed on the user's device. The content may be, for example, an image, a webpage, or a video. An example screen display showing a received broadcast is provided in Figure 45.
[00118] Furthermore, as described above, a business account may be used for or involved with the collection, monitoring and analyzing of statistics, analytics and/or other metrics. For example, a business or other entity may have an interest in collecting data from its employees, members, contacts of its integrated members, or subscribers.
[001 9] A business or other entity may want to track how its employees are engaging with other people to further the interests of the business. For example, the present social networking system may allow for the tracking of the number of different actions taken by each integrated user (e.g. employee). Actions may include but are not limited to the number of emails sent, phone calls made or received, messages forwarded, sends conducted, social media engagements made, broadcasts sent, and spotlights uploaded. A spotlight may be an information channel from or through a business account to its integrated users. Information provided through a spotlight may be communicated to the devices of integrated users for display on the devices. The information may be displayed in an activity feed page on the device of a user or in any other suitable way. A spotlight may be used, for example, to display products, services, featured work, demo reels, portfolio work, URLs, etc. Social media engagements may include a number of social media views from an integrated user's business channel. Other statistics that may be tracked are the number of contacts in each integrated users' contact list (rolodex).
[00120] These statistics may be viewable for each integrated user individually and/or the sum for all users integrated with the business account. In addition, the statistics may filtered or sortable for a given time window (e.g. by day, week, month, year, etc.). Furthermore, users may be sorted in a list according to their individual statistics, alphabetically or according to any other sortable field. In addition, for statistics involving the use of external social media platforms, statistics of integrated users may be filtered or sortable based on each different social media platform (e.g. statistics related to Facebook activity, Linkedln activity, etc.).
[00121] The described types of statistics are only examples. Other types of statistics may be collected, analyzed, displayed and/or stored.
[00122] In addition, statistics and other related information may be viewable by authorized users, for example business account administrators or other permitted users. Figures 46 to 48 are example screen displays showing how one or more statistics may be presented on a user device.
[00123] In some embodiments, the social networking system may allow members to recommend other members, for example for specific skills, accomplishments, services, goods, etc. Recommendations of a member may be viewable by some or all other members. In some embodiments, recommendations may be displayed on a member's main profile page. In some embodiments, recommendations may be specific to a particular service, location, or industry.
[00124] In some embodiments, when a member searches for another member, for example by job, profession, etc., the returned search results may include one or more sponsored results. A sponsored result may have a higher probability of turning up in search results compared to non-sponsored results. A fee may be paid for this service.
[00125] Aspects of the present disclosure may be implemented on any suitable apparatus or apparatuses, which may include one or more computers and/or computer related components. [00126] The teachings of the present disclosure may be implemented at or performed by any network element or combination of network elements. A network element may be a network side electronic device, such as a server, or a user side electronic device, such as mobile device or other personal electronic device. These network side and user side devices are only examples and are not intended to be limiting.
[00127] Figure 49 is a block diagram of an example electronic device 4900 that may be used in implementing one or more embodiments of the present disclosure. The electronic device may be any suitable type of device, including but not limited to a mobile device, a smartphone, a tablet, a notebook computer, a desktop computer, a server, and a mainframe.
[00128] The electronic device 4900 may include one or more of a central processing unit (CPU) 4902, memory 4904, a mass storage device 4906, a video adapter 4908, an input/output (I/O) interface 4910, and a communications subsystem 4912. One or more of the components or subsystems of electronic device 4900 may be interconnected by way of one or more buses 4914or in any other suitable manner.
[00129] The bus 4914 may be one or more of any type of several bus architectures including a memory bus or memory controller, a video bus, peripheral bus, or the like. The CPU 4902 may comprise any type of electronic data processor. The memory 4904 may comprise any type of system memory such as dynamic random access memory (DRAM), static random access memory (SRAM), synchronous DRAM (SDRAM), read-only memory (ROM), a combination thereof, or the like. In an embodiment, the memory may include ROM for use at boot-up, and DRAM for program and data storage for use while executing programs. [00130] The mass storage device 4906 may comprise any type of storage device configured to store data, programs, and other information and to make the data, programs, and other information accessible via the bus 4914. The mass storage device may comprise, for example, one or more of a solid state drive, hard disk drive, a magnetic disk drive, an optical disk drive, or the like. In some embodiments, data, programs, or other information may be stored remotely, for example in the "cloud". Electronic device 4900 may send or receive information to the remote storage in any suitable way, including via communications subsystem 4912 over a network or other data connection.
[00131] The video adapter 4908 and the I/O interface 4910 may provide interfaces to couple external input and output devices to the electronic device. As illustrated, examples of input and output devices include a display 4916 coupled to the video adapter 4908 and the LED, speaker, or microphone 4918 coupled to the I/O interface 4910. In addition, one or more sensors 4919 may be coupled to I/O interface 4910. The one or more sensors 4919 may include any suitable type of sensor, including but not limited to one or more accelerometers, pressure sensors, light sensors, acoustic sensors, and temperature sensors. It is to be appreciated, however, that these peripherals and other devices are examples only. Other devices may be coupled or connected to the electronic device in addition to or in place of those shown and described. Furthermore, additional or fewer interfaces may be utilized. For example, one or more serial interfaces such as Universal Serial Bus (USB) (not shown) may be provided.
[00132] A communications subsystem 4912 may be provided for one or both of transmitting and receiving signals. Communications subsystems may include any component or collection of components for enabling communications over one or more wired and wireless interfaces. These interfaces may include but are not limited to USB, Ethernet, high-definition multimedia interface (HDMI), Firewire (e.g. IEEE 1394), Thunderbolt™, WiFi™ (e.g. IEEE 802.11 ), WiMAX (e.g. IEEE 802.16), Bluetooth™, or Near-field communications (NFC), as well as GPRS, UMTS, LTE, LTE-A, dedicated short range communication (DSRC), and IEEE 802.1 1.
[00133] Communication subsystem 4912 may include one or more ports or other hardware 4928 for one or more wired connections. In addition, communication subsystem 4912 may include one or more of transmitters 4920, receivers 4922, and antenna elements 4924. In at least some embodiments, the electronic device may have geographic positioning functionality, for example to determine a geographical position of the electronic device or for receiving timing signals for time synchronization of the device with other systems. In at least some embodiments, the electronic device may be capable of receiving Global Positioning System (GPS) signals. Therefore in at least one embodiment, as shown in Figure 49, the electronic device may comprise a GPS radio or receiver 4926. However, other embodiments may comprise and use other subsystems or components for, for example, determining the geographical position of the electronic device or for receiving timing signals for time synchronization. In some embodiments, the electronic device may be configured to determine a geographic location using WiFi.
[00134] The electronic device 4900 of Figure 49 is merely an example and is not meant to be limiting. Various embodiments may utilize some or all of the components shown or described. Some embodiments may use other components not shown or described but known to persons skilled in the art. Furthermore, a device may contain multiple instances of a component, such as multiple electronic device, processors, memories, transmitters, receivers, etc. The electronic device may comprise one or more input/output devices, such as a speaker, microphone, mouse, touchscreen, keypad, keyboard, display, and the like. Various other options and configurations are contemplated. [00135] The above examples are not intended to be limiting.
[00136] In addition, the present disclosure contemplates devices, apparatuses, methods and systems consistent with the teachings of the above description and appended drawings. [00137] Through the descriptions of the preceding embodiments, the teachings of the present disclosure may be implemented by using hardware only or by using a combination of software and hardware. Software or other computer executable instructions for implementing one or more embodiments, or one or more portions or aspects thereof, may be stored on any suitable computer readable storage medium. The computer readable storage medium may be or comprise a non-transitory medium such as optical (e.g., CD, DVD, Blu-Ray, etc.), magnetic, hard disk, volatile or non-volatile, solid state, or any other type of storage medium known in the art.
[00138] Additional features and advantages of the present disclosure will be appreciated by those skilled in the art.
[00139] The structure, features, accessories, and alternatives of specific embodiments described herein and shown in the Figures are intended to apply generally to all of the teachings of the present disclosure, including to all of the embodiments described and illustrated herein, insofar as they are compatible. In other words, the structure, features, accessories, and alternatives of a specific embodiment are not intended to be limited to only that specific embodiment unless so indicated.
[00140] Furthermore, additional features and advantages of the present disclosure will be appreciated by those skilled in the art. [00141] In addition, the embodiments described herein are examples of structures, systems or methods having elements corresponding to elements of the techniques of this application. This written description may enable those skilled in the art to make and use embodiments having alternative elements that likewise correspond to the elements of the techniques of this application. The intended scope of the techniques of this application thus includes other structures, systems or methods that do not differ from the techniques of this application as described herein, and further includes other structures, systems or methods with insubstantial differences from the techniques of this application as described herein.
[00142] Moreover, the previous detailed description is provided to enable any person skilled in the art to make or use the present invention. Various modifications to those embodiments will be readily apparent to those skilled in the art, and the generic principles defined herein may be applied to other embodiments without departing from the spirit or scope of the invention described herein. Thus, the present invention is not intended to be limited to the embodiments shown herein, but is to be accorded the full scope consistent with the claims, wherein reference to an element in the singular, such as by use of the article "a" or "an" is not intended to mean "one and only one" unless specifically so stated, but rather "one or more". All structural and functional equivalents to the elements of the various embodiments described throughout the disclosure that are known or later come to be known to those of ordinary skill in the art are intended to be encompassed by the elements of the claims. Moreover, nothing disclosed herein is intended to be dedicated to the public regardless of whether such disclosure is explicitly recited in the claims.

Claims

WHAT IS CLAIMED:
1. A computer-implemented method for managing the exchange of information between members in a social networking system, the method comprising:
receiving information from a first member of the social networking system integrated with an entity profile, where a member is integrated with an entity profile when an association between the two is stored in a database of the system; and
sending the information to an electronic device of a contact of a second member of the social networking system integrated with the entity profile, the contact not integrated with the entity profile.
2. The method of claim 1 , wherein the contact is a member of the social networking system.
3. The method of claim 1 , wherein the contact is a non-member of the social networking system.
4. The method of any one of claims 1 to 3, further comprising sending the information to an electronic device of a contact of a third member of the social networking system integrated with the entity profile, the contact of the third member not integrated with the entity profile.
5. The method of any one of claims 1 to 4, wherein the information is sent to the electronic device of the contact of the second member via an electronic device of the second member.
6. The method of any one of claims 1 to 5, wherein the first member is an administrator of the entity profile.
7. A non-transitory computer-readable storage medium storing instructions that when executed by at least one processor cause the performance of operations comprising a method according to any one of claims 1 to 6.
8. A computer-implemented method for managing contacts of a member in a social networking system, the method comprising:
receiving an external list of contacts for the member from a source external to the social networking system;
comparing the contacts in the external contact list to contacts in a contact list of the member in the social networking system to identify one or more contacts in the external contact list but not in the social networking system contact list; and
causing the one or more identified contacts to be displayed on an electronic device.
9. The method of claim 8, further comprising causing a notification to be sent to at least one of the identified contacts inviting the contact to add the member to a contact list in the social networking system.
10. The method of claim 8 or 9, further comprising adding to the contact list in the social networking system at least one of the identified contacts in the external contact list.
1 1. The method of claim 9, wherein the causing a notification to be sent is responsive to a received selection of one or more of the identified contacts in the external contact list.
12. The method of any one of claims 8 to 1 1 , further comprising receiving, prior to the receiving of the external list, an identification of a source of the external contact list.
13. The method of any one of claims 8 to 12, wherein the external list of contacts comprises one or more of a contact stored on the electronic device and a contact of the member in a third party platform.
14. The method of claim 9, wherein an identified contact in the external list to which a notification is sent is not a member of the social networking system.
15. The method of claim 14, further comprising storing a record of the notification sent to the identified contact that is not a member of the social networking system in a database of the social networking system.
16. A non-transitory computer-readable storage medium storing instructions that when executed by at least one processor cause the performance of operations comprising a method according to any one of claims 8 to 15.
17. A computer-implemented method for managing contacts of members in a social networking system, the method comprising:
identifying a first member and a second member that are connected to one another in the system, the first and second members each having a profile in the system;
determining the first and second members have associated a common third party platform account with their respective profiles and the third party platform accounts of the first and second members are not connected to one another in the common third party platform; and causing, in response to the determining, a request to connect indication to be sent to the third party platform account of the first or second member in the third party platform.
18. The method of claim 17, wherein the first and second members are connected to one another in the system when the members are contained in each other's contact lists.
19. A non-transitory computer-readable storage medium storing instructions that when executed by at least one processor cause the performance of operations comprising a method according to any one of claims 17 to 18.
20. A computer-implemented method in a social networking system, the method comprising:
transmitting, from a first electronic device, information for creating an event, the information indicating of a geographical location to be associated with the event;
determining the presence of a second electronic device within a predefined distance from the geographical location associated with the event; and
transmitting, from the first electronic device, information for the second electronic device.
21. The method of claim 20, wherein the first electronic device is associated with a first member in the social networking system and the second electronic device is associated with a second member in the social networking system.
22. The method of claim 21 , wherein the information for the second electronic device relates to a request to connect as between the first and second members, where two members are connected to one another in the system when the members are contained in each other's contact lists.
23. The method of any one of claims 20 to 22, wherein the determining the presence of the second electronic device is based at least partly on receiving information from a system server relating to a geographical location of the second electronic device.
24. A non-transitory computer-readable storage medium storing instructions that when executed by at least one processor cause the performance of operations comprising a method according to any one of claims 20 to 23.
PCT/CA2015/000137 2014-03-06 2015-03-06 Method and system for exchanging information between members of a social networking system based on an aggregated list of contacts WO2015131272A1 (en)

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