Not crazy about the changes made to Facebook this week? As it turns out, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet. Mark Zuckerberg took the stage at the company’s F8 event on Thursday to unveil the company’s new direction, which includes a new way to display your life and plenty of music and video content yet to come.
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg took to the stage today at the company’s F8 event following a rousing parody by Saturday Night Live cast member Andy Samberg — right down to the hoodie, sandals and mannerisms. (Didn’t anyone tell them we’ve seen this joke before… at an Apple keynote?) While you would think that the social network had exhausted its arsenal of changes for the week after the new Subscribe button and Friends list revisions, those appear to be just the appetizer for the main entrée yet to come.
“Since the beginning of Facebook, your profile has been the place where you tell your story,” explains The Facebook Blog. “People use it to share everything from the small stuff, like their thoughts on an article, to the most important events of their lives, like the photos of their wedding or the birth of their child.”
Needless to say, a user’s profile has evolved over time and soon, you’ll see the biggest change to date with Timeline, with Facebook claims will “tell your story” by focusing on three specific areas: Your stories, your apps and a new way to express who you are, all going back to the time you were born.
“It’s the heart of your Facebook experience, completely re-thought from the ground up,” Zuckerberg explains of the new design, which the CEO claims has been keeping the company busy all year. (No wonder there’s still no native iPad app…)
Where the original Facebook profile design focused on the last few moments in your life (and the 2008 update extended that to the last 15 minutes), Timeline aims to show it all, from birth to the present. Explaining that Timeline was a major design challenge, Zuckerberg showed off the new look at F8 using his own profile, which now appears in a more grid-like layout, presenting only the key moments as you go backward in time.
Timeline also features Reports, a method for compiling your profile data every month or every year as a summary of everything you’ve ever done on Facebook. Timeline will display properly on mobile devices in a condensed view, and new look will roll out over the next couple of months. “We wanted to design a place that feels like your home,” Zuckerberg concluded.
Needless to say, Facebook didn’t stop there, adding “verbs” to your status updates so users can “express themselves in new ways.” For example, you can now post when you’ve done something after the fact, rather than at the exact moment you’re doing it. But fear not, verbs are considered a “lightweight” part of your stream and will appear on the side of your homepage rather than cluttering up your news feed.
Facebook has also overhauled its OpenGraph protocol, opening the doors for developers to include the feature in their own apps with a focus on the Timeline first and discovering new things through your Facebook friends — which leads into the final segment of the F8 event.
As widely rumored, Facebook has now teamed with Spotify for the “real-time serendipity” feature, allowing you to share music with friends and even listen along at the same time they do. The feature isn’t exclusive to Spotify, and Facebook is partnering with other content providers as well, including Rdio, MOG, Rhapsody and others.
“You’ll now start seeing new music posts and play buttons all over your newsfeeds,” Spotify explains on their blog. “Hit a play button and the music starts. Right there.”
Last but not least, the recent controversy with Netflix didn’t keep that company’s CEO, Reed Hastings, from popping in at the close of the F8 keynote to say hello and comment on how his company (as well as Hulu Plus) will soon be able to stream video content to the new Timeline feature — but oddly, not quite yet in the United States.
That’s right — Netflixers in Canada and Latin America will actually get first crack at enjoying their content in Facebook before we colonials do, apparently due to some kind of bizarre privacy law currently due for revision in Congress, according to This Is My Next. Weird, right? Of course, you’ll need the new Timeline in order to get that integration anyway, so keep your eyes peeled for those changes.
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(Images courtesy of Facebook and BGR)