As most of you in the PR world know, Facebook’s f8 developer conference was last week. With so many changes taking place to the platform we use both personally and for the brand pages we manage daily, I thought I would offer my take on the biggest news from the event.
Let me just mention that I am a very hands-on learner; the new functions and features don’t make a whole lot of sense to me until I can actually play with them and figure them out myself. But I’ll share what I’ve learned so far.
The first change is ‘timelines’ which is just another name for your profile. Mark Zuckerberg’s explanation was that people take pride in the content they share on their pages but that content is quickly forgotten. “It’s how you can tell the whole story of your life on a single page.”
The timeline feature will make your profile more visual and give you greater control over it by choosing what is important. Good content will be more important now than ever before. This will also allow users to make their profile much more personal, which was one of the big complaints when people were choosing whether to stay on Myspace or move over to Facebook. Timeline will be available to everyone in the next few weeks but if you want it now, check out this article from TechCrunch.
Open Graph was designed as a new group of applications that let you interact with your friends on a new level. You aren’t just seeing that they ‘like’ a song and ‘liking’ it too – you can join them on Spotify and listen to it with them.
The ‘ticker’ is part of the Open Graph feature. All of your updates on activity, such as games you play and what you are doing, will go into a real-time feed. Here is where the new verbs and nouns will appear like, Joe read a book, or Mary watched a movie, rather than into your friends’ feeds. Only the most important events will appear in the news feed.
One other change is that the applications will no longer have to ask for permission to post content to Facebook. A prompt will appear the first time you allow an application access, detailing what will be shared. It will only appear once, so permission is automatically granted for other applications you use.
Love it or hate it, Facebook changes regularly and affects the way we interact not only with the technology, but with each other. I hope this gives you a good idea of what’s to come on Facebook. Below are a couple links to some further reading if you are interested in learning more. It will be very interesting to see how both personal and brand pages change as these new features are rolled out. What do you think the future of Facebook will bring?