Phew, it’s been a pretty busy week in the world of social media, with yesterday’s f8 developer conference in San Francisco drawing most of the attention. To try to fully explain everything that was discussed would make for a leviathan of a blog, so I’ll attempt to give you the salient points, with links to original articles so you can go and do your own homework. I’ve also touched upon my own experience with the Facebook Music feature towards the end of this blog.
Mashable have pretty much covered the main Facebook changes in this article, but I’ll just give you the headlines:
- You’re going to get a Timeline — a scrapbook of your life.
- You don’t have to just Like something — now you can [verb] any [noun].
- Facebook apps need only ask permission once to share stories on your behalf.
- All “lightweight” information is going to the Ticker.
- You can watch TV and movies, listen to music, and read news with your friends — all within Facebook.
- Facebook has more users and more engagement than ever.
Each of these are explained further in the Mashable article. Things that you might be well advised to look more closely at are to do with permissions and Facebook apps. In the past an app would ask you every time it wanted to share information about you in your profile. Under the new changes, once you’ve authorised an app to do this once it won’t ask you again. Something to be mindful of there.
Just a quick aside re. the ‘scrapbook’ – for those of you not familiar with the SocialSafe application, we’ve developed an offline social journal that backs up Facebook profiles, Twitter accounts and can now also back up Facebook Pages. What this means is that you can have a searchable diary containing all of your social media activities that really does put a whole new spin on your Facebook and Twitter content. Stay tuned for a separate blog entry dedicated to the journal/scrapbook theme.
On a personal note, I’m loving the new Facebook Music feature… and I think I’m using it properly! This morning as I was just getting used to the new ticker on the right hand side of my Facebook window I noticed the update “[FRIEND] is listening to Cherry Waves by Deftones on Spotify”. So having heard about the ‘listen with friends‘ aspect of this new feature, I hovered the mouse over that story in the ticker and a sub-menu shot out with a ‘Play’ icon that once clicked on immediately booted up my Spotify and started playing the song. Very cool.
Having allowed Spotify to post information to my profile, there is now a list of songs under my ‘recent activity’ (see picture above) that shows my friends what I’ve been listening to. Please note, in the screen-shot above I clicked on the ‘expand’ and ‘show more’ buttons – it doesn’t automatically fill up your entire page with song titles. I’m all about sharing music – or rather sharing the knowledge and awareness of music – so I have no qualms about this information being posted to my profile. However, I might well change my mind about this after I’ve had a few sherbets and start indulging in some guilty pleasures which all of my Facebook friends will see!
UPDATE [29/09/2011]: It seems I wasn’t the only person slightly aggrieved that all of my Facebook friends will be able to see my guilty pleasures that I listen to on Spotify. They have made an update called ‘Private Listening’ that works much like using Incognito for private browsing on Google Chrome. To find out how to enable it, read this article.