Don’t say we didn’t warn you but Facebook has changed yet again.
The other day we all checked our Facebook pages and found that everything was different. The first and most obvious change is the real-time feed of your friends’ updates on the upper right-hand side of the page. Some are calling this the ‘real time Facebook’ while others are calling it distracting.
Facebook has also eliminated the links for “Top Stories” and “Most Recent,” changing the News Feed to adjust its content based on the last time you checked it. You also have the option, via a pull-down menu at the top of the Feed, to change what stories actually appear
But Facebook saved the biggest changes for yesterday’s F8 Developers Conference.
The Timeline – Your Life Online
The change that’s getting the most attention is the Timeline. This is a radical rethinking and redesign of the profile page. Visually and functionally, it’s a whole new profile. Facebook is calling the Timeline the place “to tell your story from beginning, to middle, to now.” Users will love the new layout options and the new class of apps that lets them share the music they are listening to, the food they are cooking or the movies they are watching. Privacy advocates will no doubt hate it for the exact same reasons.
Open Graph – More Than Just Likes
Along with the Timeline, Facebook introduced a new version of Open Graph allowing for deeper and more meaningful connections between users and the things they do and like. Now you can connect to anything in any way that you like. You don’t need to ‘like’ a song, you can just ‘listen’ to it.
This makes possible a whole new class of apps to share lifestyle and media (music and images) and new ways to help you discover new things through your friends’ connections. For example, you can play and share your friends music though the new Spotify app and watch movies from the movie link through the Netflix app. If you see one of your friends is listening to a song on Spotify, you can click on that update in the ticker and listen along with them.
In short, it’s all about verbs – like, listen, read, cook or run instead of just like.
The Future of Search is Social
What does this all mean? Discovery is moving from a search function to a social one. What started with Amazon reviews and tagging has now grown into a whole ecosystem of recommendations based on what our friends and relations have chosen to like, watch, buy, listen to or read. This is what Google is betting on with its +1 button on Google+ and Facebook is right there next to them.
As always, if you have any questions or concerns on how you can use Facebook to promote your business, we are here to help!