Social Media Marketing September 23rd, 2011
Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerburg announced the latest changes to Facebook at F8 conference in San Francisco yesterday. The announcement included the introduction of Facebook “Timeline,” New Open Graph – “Ticker,” advanced applications and new modes of social connection.
Facebook has grown tremendously over the last year and the next era of Facebook has been defined with the introduction of Timeline, new applications and tools. Music, Movies, Television, News and Books or any activities from your daily life like runs can be tracked using the new social applications that will make use of timeline.
Facebook introduced timeline as “the story of your life – all your stories, all your apps and a new way to express who you are.” Timeline, in other words the scrapbook of your life (currently in the beta phase) lets people explore their past with a stream of information. It encourages people to post more details about your past or interesting parts of your history.
According to Zuckerburg a profile page is the heart of the Facebook experience and Timeline helps you to express the story of your life trough meaningful sections. Facebook Timeline includes various new sections like applications, ticker and a newsfeed. The news feed appears in the bottom left hand side of the page and on the top you can find a large banner image an avatar and a timeline that helps you visualize posts from different sections of time. To test the Facebook Timline in beta phase you need to make sure that your account is verified by phone once done go to the Facebook developers application and create a new application, choose an application name, choose Open Graph and Get Started. Once the changes are saved you will see a notification to enable the New Facebook Timeline in your homepage. Click on get it now and view the new timeline feature.
Timeline lets you add new kinds of social applications that run alongside the newsfeeds and ticker; this will help to create a social hub where you and your friends can listen to the same song or watch the same TV show. The main idea here is that people will be able to share what they are doing in Facebook when connected to the applications.
Take for example Spotify, the third party music application which doesn’t run inside Facebook, but when people download the desktop application it connects to Facebook where the details of their activity will be displayed in the Timeline and ticker.
Facebook also introduced Ticker the new version of Open Graph which will extend the level of sharing and connections in real time. The change is exclusively altered to fill out the new timeline feature and to improve the viral factor through a light weigh stream. Currently all we could do is like a video, update or a page but pretty soon this is going to change, Facebook has launched the Facebook Gestures which that the developers can turn any verb to a button.
Huh? Verb into a button? Let me simplify it for you, if you are listening to music or watching a movie you will see an option/button to tell your friends what you are doing. But I have a strong feeling that these will only increasing the share overload.
This change will now allow developers to create applications to share activities without annoying news feeds. The new Open Graph according to Mark Zuckerburg allows “Frictionless experiences” and “real-time serendipity.”
Nearly everyone would agree that Facebook applications used to be noisy and annoying and gosh, I used to spend most of my time blocking the applications which people were adding me to. After much criticism Facebook’s new Open Graph now lets users see the activities which they want in the order of significance through a “lightweight” ticker which runs into the timeline.
Unrelated updates will be prevented from showing up in your news feed until you want it to be displayed; now the power of sharing is completely given to the user. No more unwanted game updates or change in status notifications!
The new applications will help you to discover what your friends are doing in real time and tell people the things you like to do: the music you like, the recipes you’ve tried, etc. Through the ticker if one of your friends is listening to the music you like, then you can listen to it at the same time. The new Open graph according to Facebook tries to find similarities between actions and activities in order to display it in the news feed section.
One of the main reasons for Facebook’s success has been gaming applications e.g. Farmville, Mafia Wars, etc. there are no more share boxes, all the activities will be pulled directly into your ticker and more information about the game will be available to your friends. As per the illustration shown by Zuckerburg you can even see the real time statuses of games played by your friends.
Will this affect Facebook fanpage marketing efforts? The discussion is heating up and it’s still too early to predict. But quality of updates and feedback rates will still decide the popularity of your brand in Facebook.
There was no mention about Advertising platform during the conference but for the time being there are no changes for Facebook ads. The new updates promise to provide complete control of the timeline which includes heavy emphasis on privacy as well. With all the new upgrades it’s going to be really interesting to see what other Social Networking giants are going to do to keep up with Facebook specially Google +.