Just a quick summary (by no means conclusive) on the key findings from yesterday’s facebook product announcements in the simplest humanly readable format:
- Facebook’s Timeline will become the key focus of the Facebook profile experience. They are trying to make all of your historical data on facebook lots more accessible (eventually you will see a year-to-year list on the right hand side so you can go back and look up what you’ve done last year this time, or add additional content/photos to your page).
- Open Graph Apps Publishers and developers are now given the options to build apps that enrich the timeline. Imagine recipes I’ve cooked, music I’ve listened to, videos I’ve watched. A good social app would make it much easier for people to record what they have done, to find our what their friends are up to, and to share such action. More on (Btw if you put together a quick mock apps and choose an Open Graph action (e.g. ‘read’ a ‘book’, you will be given an option to preview the new Profile)
- Open Graphs Actions and Objects Like and Recommend used to be the only two verbs enabled by Facebook’s Open Graph; they will now slowly roll out other actions including ‘listen, watch, read’. Eventually this will expand to other verbs that we can customise ourselves.
What does it mean to publishers?
- ReadWriteWeb has a gloomy view of ‘once a user opts in, they will not realise they are sharing everything to everyone
- Guardian seems to find a way to work around by essentially building their website inside facebook
- They can monetise on with their own ads serve (See the MPUs and Skys – it’s theirs and Facebook has nothing to do with that)
- Users interact with these content in a Facebook environment, which makes it more likely for them to realise their action might be shared across their networks
- Users are clearly sign-posted that once they have read an article it would be added to their timeline, but also given the options to remove the article immediately (see screen grab below)
Exciting time; looks like this will definitely drive engagement up (as the sentimental drive is quite compelling to most of us) for Facebook. As for publishers, it’s about building clear objectives on what’s beneficial to business as it can be expensive building a Facebook App that nails the user experience, but the reward can be significant as well.