Facebook had their f8 conference, last night with Mark Zuckerberg (or at least the Andy Samberg version of Mark Zuckerberg for a while) delivering a keynote. The keynote covered all of Facebook's latest changes, which are so big that the social network may have little or nothing in common with its form at inception, anymore. Except some part of the name of course.
Zuck presenting Timeline. Image source: Mashable
For starters, Facebook now is giving you a Timeline. This is an overhauled version of the current profile page. Your Timeline is not just an account holder of your activity on Facebook, it's about your entire life. Right since birth. So, you will see previous status updates and the photos you've posted, as well as the places you've traveled to in the world. Facebook is encouraging users to put in as much information about their life as possible. The further back in your life story you go, the more Facebook compresses information, so beyond a point, you will only see the information that is interesting. Timeline is currently in beta and eventually it will roll out to everyone replacing the profile page.
Secondly, Facebook's going beyond having users 'like' something. Users will have the ability to 'verb' any 'noun'. Which means, if you're reading a book or watching a movie, you don't have to just like it on Facebook anymore. You can actually select a verb indicating that you're reading the book, perhaps even at some point, selling the book. This will be part of Facebook Gestures, which Facebook's partners and developers will use.
Next up, for you fervent Facebook app users, currently everytime an app wants to post on your wall, it will ask for permission, each time. Now, however, the app will only ask permission once and updates will be posted to your timeline.
Also, all information that's coming in from apps will not clutter your newsfeed anymore. Instead, these stories will go straight to the ticker. So, things like who reached what score in Farmville and, which mobster they killed in Mafia Wars will go to the ticker, however, status updates, profile information changes, relationship status changes will all feature on the News Feed.
Finally, Facebook's added some deep media integration with Hulu, Spotify and Yahoo! news. For more detail on Facebook's new media features, click here.
Zuckerberg and Samberg also stated that Facebook has reached 800 million users and most of them are pretty active. Facebook also recently saw a record in the number of visitors on the website in one day, a whopping 500 million. All of these changes will be introduced slowly and it seems like Facebook would like to leave a dust trail for Google+.
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