As expected, Facebook announced some significant changes to its social platform at the annual F8 conference in California yesterday. The most notable of these is the ‘timeline’ which documents your most important photos, updates and interactions into a single Facebook page of memories. This is what it’s going to look like when it’s rolled out over the next few weeks:
It’s an interesting development. It plays on a user’s nostalgia and the fact that documenting our lives is an inherent trait in society today. So many people love photo albums, scrapbooks and reminiscing about the past and this new feature taps into that. It’s likely that people will respond well to this update (eventually, once the fuss about the fact Facebook is changing again dies down), but more than that it is a clever way for Facebook to gain even more information about its users. Not only will it know what is important to you now, and in the future, it’ll also know what your life was like pre-Facebook, as CEO Mark Zuckerberg urges us to “fill in the blanks”.
For in depth detail about how the timeline will work, read All Facebook’s handy blog post.
The other significant announcement is that you can now connect with more than just a ‘like’; using a raft of new integrated applications (such as Spotify and Netflix) you will be able to read the news, watch TV and listen to music within the platform, oh and tell everyone about it, naturally.
Zuckerberg’s keynote also explained some of the latest features of the redesign, including the ticker bar and top stories and how they will fit in with the latest announcements and the next generation of the Social Graph, now named the Open Graph, best explained by Zuckerberg himself:
“Three years ago at our first f8 conference for developers, I introduced the concept of the social graph, which is the idea that if you mapped out all the connections between people and the things they care about, it would form a graph that connects everyone together. Facebook has focused mostly on mapping out the part of the graph around people and their relationships.
At the same time, other sites and services have been mapping out other parts of the graph so you can get relevant information about different types of things. For example, Yelp maps out the best local businesses and Pandora maps out which songs are related to each other.
All of these connections are important parts of the social graph, but until now it hasn’t been possible to easily share the connections you make on sites like Yelp or Pandora with your friends on Facebook. And you haven’t been able to bring your friends from Facebook to share experiences on these sites or personalize them to you.
Today at our third f8, we are making it so all websites can work together to build a more comprehensive map of connections and create better, more social experiences for everyone. We have redesigned Facebook Platform to offer a simple set of tools that sites around the web can use to personalize experiences and build out the graph of connections people are making.”
So what does this mean for businesses on Facebook? Well, nearly every significant change to personal profiles in the past has followed with similar changes to business pages. Although no mention was made of pages at yesterday’s conference, it would be realistic to expect business timelines in the future. The ticker and new ‘GraphRank’ are likely to play a part in how businesses share information with their fans to increase visibility.
We’re excited about exploring these changes here at Bluepost and finding out how they will impact businesses and their Facebook fans and customers.
What do you think about the latest Facebook announcements?
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