Facebook has radically redesigned its profile page, launching ‘timeline’ – a new way of telling the story of your life on a single page and will now allow users to listen to music, watch films and read news without leaving the site.
Announcing the raft of changes at f8, Facebook’s annual developers conference in San Francisco, Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s founder and chief executive, said: “Millions of people curate stories of their lives on Facebook every day and have no way to share them once they fall off your profile page…we have been working on ‘timeline’ all year…it’s the story of your life and completely new way to express yourself.
“It has three pieces: all your stories, your apps and a new way to express who you are.”
Zuckerberg said he wanted people to be able to share “their entire lives” on Facebook and have “total control” over how their content appeared online. Using his own profile to demonstrate the new timeline, Zuckerberg showed photos of himself as a baby which he has inserted into the new profile page which is organized by years. ‘Timeline’ will be rolled out over the next “few weeks”.
He said that he wanted people to “fill in the gaps” so that all users’ personal information was on their Facebook profile.
At the conference, which was live streamed to thousands of people around the world, Zuckerberg, also announced a series of partnerships with music, media and games companies –including Spotify, Netflix, Zynga [the maker of Farmville] and The Washington Post. The new developments will allow users to listen to songs, watch movies and read news content, without leaving Facebook, from today onwards.
The addition of content to Facebook is the first time the social network has directly enabled users to access content via an app without leaving the website.
Zuckerberg said that the company was focusing on making a “new class of apps” which would bring content directly into the Facebook news feed. Calling it the ‘open graph’, Zuckerberg said the new way of interacting with apps in the news feed would be “frictionless”.
Early reaction from technology analysts has been positive, with many agreeing that the changes have once again upped Facebook’s advantage over Google in the social space – however, privacy concerns will remain.
“With its new ‘timeline’ and app changes that bring real time discovery of content and activities, Facebook is positioning itself as not just your social graph online, but your life online. These changes not only help trump rival Google, but will open up new opportunities for marketers with new kinds of customer experiences, long term engagement, advertising, and customer intelligence – but concerns around privacy and immaturity in how to do these things effectively will make it a slow go,” said Sean Corcoran, a technology analyst for Forrester.
Google launched a new social network, Google+, earlier this year, to rival Facebook. It now has more than 25 million members and has been praised for its privacy settings and neat design.
Users of the social network will now be able to do more than just ‘like’ something. The social network has now added ‘verbs’ to its language. People will now be able to say they have ‘watched’ a movie or ‘cooked’ a meal.
Facebook, which has more than 750 million members, also announced that it had broken a web record for a non search engine site, attracting half a billion users in one day.