Today’s F8 had it all. A cameo from SNL’s Andy Samberg, glitzy new designs, cutting edge new features and compelling product videos. But what was actually announced? Here are the major takeaways from today’s conference:
For all of those complaining about the new Facebook layout, don’t worry- its days are numbered. Today “Timeline” was announced that takes a very different direction that previous Facebook profiles. Timeline was explained as an evolution from the original profile page being “The first 5 minutes of the conversation” to timelines being the “rest of the conversation.”
Timelines are very visually appealing, with a large header image atop the layout and large, bold images throughout. The purpose of timelines is very simple: to show the history & highlights of a user. The further back you go in one’s timeline, the less information you will see, effectively showing only highlights from the past. With a few clicks users can expand to see all data in a given year based on their permission levels. The above video shows a great example of how a timeline may look for a very active user. We also learned that everyone will be moved over to the timeline layout after an undisclosed grace period.
“Like” As A Verb
Another major announcement at F8 was that the like button will be evolving into a verb. Instead of “liking” a mountain trail, users will be able to say that they “hiked” a mountain. This will be the case for a variety of actions with the evolution of the like button, and some mentioned include (watch, read, listen, eat, hike). Revised apps will also play a major role with the way users will like items on Facebook.
Enhanced Media & App Integration
A beefier media tie-in was also announced at f8, falling in-line with the “tell your story” theme of the conference. Facebookers will be able to share music, videos and news, quickly and easily. Users will be able to share what they recently watched, listened to or read on their timeline or in their ticker. It will also be possible to share music with other users and listen together. Demos of Spotify & Netflix consumption directly on Facebook were shown, however Netflix is currently banned in the US due to legality.
More Social Apps With Larger Timeline Presence
Apps in general will become more social and take up a larger presence on Facebook. Users will be able to add apps directly into their timeline and apps will help to power the new media integration. Facebook states that the more engaging your app is, the more quickly it will be able to grow.
Graph Rank & New App Analytics
Clearly f8 has cemented the fact that apps will be helping to power new Facebook experience. Facebook announced “Graph Rank,” a system that manages the discovery of Open Graph activity. This will help to show more engaging content to users while helping app users make better apps. To optimize for Graph Rank, better Open Graph analytics will be shown to app developers: By using this information, developers will be able to optimize an app’s Graph Rank to create more engagement.
Overall, the various changes all maintained the same end goal: create a story to share easily with others. To view the full announcement, see the official F8 Facebook page!