Facebook recently announced some major changes at the F8 Developers Conference. The main changes/additions to Facebook are the Timeline, Ticker (already live), New App Categories and the Social Graph updates. But what does it mean for you as a user and as a marketer?
The phrase that captures the new Facebook is “Self-Expression.” Below are details about the changes Facebook is making.
The timeline is a new feature of your Facebook profile, and will bring a new way to express yourself and your life. Personally, I think it’s awesome. It will take all of your information – your likes, statuses, pictures, videos, apps – and plot them on a literal timeline. You will even be able to go “back in time” and fill out old stuff, like baby pictures for when you were born. You will be able to make your new Facebook profile more-YOU. Facebook is also bringing apps back on to profiles (but not like the old boxes model). Check out a live demo of the Facebook Timeline.
Previously, when your friends liked something (either on or off Facebook using the social graph) it would show up in your news feed. Well, during the conference, Zuckerberg basically said that people were getting annoyed with all of their friend’s menial activity updates, and so now Facebook has moved all of the micro-stories to a box on the upper right-hand corner of your home page (newsfeed). The ticker is live already on most Facebook accounts.
New App Categories:
Previously, there were only two categories for apps: Games & Communication. Facebook is adding two new categories: Media & Lifestyle.
Media apps will include music, video and more. This is what the rumors about music/video integration have been about. In the new Facebook, you’ll be able to see your friend listening to a song on Spotify in your Ticker, and you’ll be able to click on it, and listen to that same song with them. It’s pretty sweet. It’s the same with Netflix and Hulu.
The second new category, Lifestyle, will include things like cooking, fitness, fashion and more. Anything and everything we are all interested in. And you’ll be able to connect with your friends on things you like – for example, if you like running, you can start logging your runs every day. You can move this app into your profile, and into your timeline automatically, and your friends will be able to see the runs you are going on (length, locations, etc.) and interact with you about that interest.
My favorite example of this is being able to get a “What I Ate Report” which shows on a timeline over a year everything you cooked/ate in a single place.
Apps are a very big and important part of the Facebook changes, and I’m not a developer, so I’m sure there is a lot that I’m leaving out. If you are interested in more details, read this Facebook developers blog.
Social Graph Updates:
The social graph is becoming more embedded and natural. Bear with me – I’m not too technical – but from what I understand, instead of just “liking” a song on an app like Spotify, you can now allow access to Facebook via Spotify, and Facebook will automatically add what you are listening to on your Facebook profile and feed. So that secret love for Miley Cyrus or Kenny G may be not-so-secret anymore – watch out!
What does this mean for YOU as a Facebook user?
In my opinion, this Facebook change is going to allow us to connect with our friends on a completely new level. We will all be so tuned in – automatically, naturally – to our friends overtime, that we’ll be able to start interacting with their information in new ways. It seems like the new Facebook is more like your life – filled with memories, music, videos, interests, interactions and more – all in one, consumable package organized by time. I’m very excited to see what opportunities and changes in social networking these changes will bring.
What could this mean for marketers and businesses using Facebook?
Business uses of Facebook were not mentioned in the announcement today, but with the ultra-integration of apps, and the new app categories, there are endless possibilities for businesses and marketers to take advantage of the new Facebook.
The new app structure (and social graph) seems to allow businesses (and apps) to interact and engage with consumers on a new level, and as a more natural part of everyday online interaction. If they begin integrating all the new information into targeted advertising, it will allow more targeted ads than ever before. For example – what if Nike, Inc. could specifically target women in their 20s who are actively logging runs in a lifestyle app? The possibilities are endless.
For more opinions and articles that have been written about what these new Facebook changes could mean for business, I suggest reading “What F8 means for Advertisers” and “What the new Facebook changes mean for Businesses.”
Are you ready to start playing with the new Facebook right now? Read these instructions on how to get the new Timeline feature before it’s released publicly.
Want more information? Or just want to connect with me? Follow me, Natasha Jarmick on Twitter and tweet any questions or comments you may have!