Facebook: Getting Cozier With Developers

  • September 29, 2011 12:32 pm


Last Thursday, Mark Zuckerberg and company delivered a thorough preview of the future direction of Facebook, the world’s most popular social media site. The site will see a drastic change in the next few months. Its purpose will not be different, but they way that users interact with the new tools will surely change the scope of Facebook. The powerful addition of a timeline, verbs and apps will spell opportunities for social media innovation, iPhone app development and tons of new ways for users to interact…


The Timeline

Currently, Facebook users experience a rolling update of their friend’s activity on the site. This ticker, along with publishing on user’s individual profiles, broadcasts what a user is doing. This ticker is an early step in the timeline that Facebook users will eventually be used to. People get heated enough whenever Facebook changes so the timeline roll out will be done gradually. Changes will be made every few weeks, although this pace will still be too quick for more stubborn users.

Changes have been happening to Facebook regularly ever since its existence but this is the biggest move in four years. The main change is that the timeline, instead of showing your activity on Facebook, is supposed to show your life. While evolutions like Facebook chat and the “Like” button help to document a user’s online activity, the timeline is designed to incorporate offline activity as well. Facebook users will be able to showcase the music they are listening to, the foods they are eating and how much they work out.

The idea is that because important aspects of each user’s life (their favorite artists, hobbies, etc.) have gone undocumented, Facebook profiles have been a somewhat incomplete view of a person. Now, if cooking is important to you then the recipes you’ve been trying will be on your profile. You’ll also be able to follow your friends’ dishes and generally build a community of cooks. New “verbs” will begin appearing so that users can say they “hiked” something or “ate” it, instead of just “liking” it.

Before, this amount of activity would have left your friend’s news feeds clogged. New Facebook plans to incorporate all this information into your timeline without it being sloppy. This goal is supposed to be met by the apps that Facebook, global companies and independent users will be rolling out.

Apps

The information that users share will be funneled through a growing list of applications. Apps like Spotify have already pushed themselves into ubiquity by sharing music. Other apps will take the lead in different areas: Nike+ for running and foodily for cooking. But many apps that will be popular haven’t been invented yet. That’s where the developers get cozy.


With Graph Rank, Facebook is providing an open platform to develop and manage applications. Developers will be able to see the popularity of their apps grow or shrink while connecting with the people using them. This could be a fantastic opportunity for some talented developers who hit the right notes.


Tags:


Author:
visit my website

Michael grew up in a small town in the midwest, but as an adult moved to the city, where he now works at a small tech company and writes about technology at http://technected.com.