One New Notification: Facebook F8 Heralds Dramatic Evolution

Timeline Video Screenshot

As we all know – yesterday was the Facebook F8 Developers Conference in San Francisco. After lots of speculation and rumours, I have boiled down the announcement and described what this means for the future of Facebook.

There are two things you need to know about from yesterday’s conference - The Facebook Timeline and Social Apps.

Facebook didn’t say when it will launch; the company merely said that it “won’t be available for a few weeks.”

However, you can get the Facebook Timeline immediately, if you submit yourself as a developer (which a lot of people are doing and I am also in the process of doing).


Facebook Timeline

Facebook announced the new Facebook Timeline profile – an evolution of your current profile layout and upgrade to its UI (User Interface).

What is this going to mean?

  • The Timeline is wider than your old profile. It’s also a lot more visual: not only does it have a giant cover photo at the top, but also lets you star your favourite photos to double their size.
  • You can hide things altogether and make other stories stand out more – increasing your privacy.
  • The most interesting part is that you can make a point to add stories for a specific time period in the past, and can also now fill in the blanks – right back to when you were born.
  • You can click on any post to feature it on your timeline so your friends can see it too.
  • Facebook also lets you finally check out your private activity log, which shows you everything you shared since you joined Facebook.
  • You can add pets, children and hospital operations – there’ll even be a ‘lost a loved one’ feature so you can record when someone near and dear passed on.

To see what your profile will look like after the switch over, and to see the video, visit the official Facebook Timeline mini site.

Essentially it’s going to be a game changer for us all. The new Facebook UI will essentially self-blog our lives – no longer will you need a diary. In years to come we’ll be able to look back at photos, music, videos, status entries, relationships, friendships – the list goes on. The Timeline starts at ‘Born’ and I presume it will continue to ‘Death’.

As and when I learn more – I’ll be in touch about the Facebook Timeline.

Social Apps 

  • Facebook is adding a whole new brand of applications that allow you to share what exactly you’re up to, discover what your friends are doing, and even share those experiences with your friends simultaneously.
  • These new social apps are meant to help you discover what your friends are currently doing, beyond just the fact that they just Liked something.
  • Facebook wants developers to do more than just use the Liked verb (and more than the Read, Watched, and Listened verbs too). During his keynote, Zuckerberg showed Cooked and Ran as possible examples.
  • To cut down on noise, not all of these granular activities will go into your news feed, but they will pop up in that new activity “ticker” – the up-to-the-minute feed that is featured on the top right hand corner of our Facebook screens already.
  • Facebook is partnering with all sorts of music services, including Spotify, Mog, and Rdio, and if you see your friend is listening to a song you can click on that activity in the ticker and start listening to the song along with them.
  • Facebook is also teaming up with publications and game publishers. All of this functionality is an expansion of Facebook’s “Open Graph” protocol. It used to be just a way to Like webpages, thereby pulling them into Facebook land, but now it’s clear Facebook’s ambitions are much greater — they want to pull in everything you do, online and off, and make it social.

To find out more about Facebook Social Apps – watch the short video here.

In terms of terminology, Timeline is the feature the end user will see, while Open Graph is what the developers will be using (to make the UI).

Social Apps is the feature whereby new verbs will be used – Rich is reading, writing, running, cooking, listening, watching etc etc.

Finally, the Ticker is the live feed on the top right hand corner, which will be used to click on, and do whatever your friends are doing.

A truly amazing enhancement to our lives and memories and one massive kick in the teeth for Google+...