A lot of you might have seen that your Facebook interface looks a wee bit different than you remember it a couple of days ago. Well, you ain’t seen nothing yet. There’s a lot of changes a-coming to Facebook which was unveiled during the company’s f8 developer conference in San Francisco, CA, and the company’s looking to change the social landscape. Well, again, we mean.
First off, is the unveiling and eventual roll-out of Facebook Timeline. In a nutshell, it’s a summary of your life (on Facebook) laid bare for other people to see, with an emphasis on the highlights of your life (landed a new job, got a new car, got married, etc.). It’ll replace your standard Facebook profile (also known as the page strangers see when they first check you out) once the kinks are worked out. We think it’s pretty interesting, but again there’s that concern of privacy, specifically for the pictures and other things that are in your profile. Since a lot of these things are filled in automatically by Facebook, how does the service know what’s appropriate, or more importantly, what highlight of your life is important to you?
Another major unveil during f8 is the deep integration of apps into your profile, which is being touted by the company as a new way for users to share content without overwhelming their friends with information. Central to this whole theme is the ticker bar on the right of your Facebook account (which a lot of us lovingly refer to as the stalker bar). Social apps allow users to share information directly onto that bar without flooding your stream with inconsequential babble. If one of your friends start listening to a band they like through Spotify for example, it’ll show up on your ticker. If you’d like to listen in to the artist your friend likes, you just need to click on their link. The whole concept is better explained through the video below.
Yahoo is getting into the action too, with the release of their Yahoo News Feature. The premise is simple – you’re now able to see what stories your friends have been reading on their site, which makes it easier for you to discover new things through your friends. From what we’re seeing, Facebook is moving away from active sharing (pushing links and likes and whatever) into more passive sharing (checking out your friend’s activity streams via sites like Yahoo). We’re liking what we’re seeing now, though it does make the likelihood of cyber-stalking a terrifying reality. We’ll just have to see how it all pans out.
Bottomline here is: Facebook is changing. It seems that the social network giant is no longer interested in getting more subscribers (it has plenty of those) nor increasing it’s page views. From what we’re seeing, it’s now more interested in making every minutiae of your life easier to share and to be discovered by your friends, and that’s not a bad thing. Do you like the direction the company is taking? Share your thoughts in the comments.