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Friday, September 23, 2011

Reminiscing, Facebook Style

f8Yesterday during Facebook’s F8 Developer keynote, Mark Zuckerberg unveiled a raft of new features to the Facebook platform.  As expected, there was an announcement about a music service, though not as many predicted some form of music player built in to Facebook.  Instead, users will be able to see what music their friends are listening and with one click launch services such as Spotify to listen to the same thing.  Similar services will be allow people to do the same with films/tv being watched or news and websites being read all rather unobtrusive in the new ticker rather than clogging up the main news feed. Sounds pretty good as a way to discover new content, but all this paled in insignificance compared to possible the biggest chance to how Facebook will look since it launched, Timeline.

To me, Timeline is a total game changer in how people will be able to use Facebook.  At the moment, I find Facebook allow me to give an update about what I am doing at a particular moment in time and probably to a greater extent find out what friends are up to.  With the introduction of Timeline, I can see my use of Facebook changing dramatically.

At the moment, I keep a blog and upload photo’s to one of the many photo sharing websites and this provides some sort of memory bank of things I have being doing, but its all a bit disjointed and cumbersome.  What Timeline aims to do is bring all this in to one place and give me this overview of my life all in one place by recording my interactions through Facebook, whether that is the music I’ve been listening to, holiday photos, life changing events, social activities and other interactions with friends.  It then puts this altogether in, well a Timeline so If I want an overview of say my life in 2010, it just puts it there for me.

Like almost 1 billion other people I use Facebook at the moment, but I’d hardly say it was a key component of my life, just useful in keeping in touch with friends.  With Timeline I can see it becoming a central feature of my online life, just because it will allow me to keep a record of my life with almost no effort.  Then if I want to look back with fond memories remembering how things were so much better back in the day, I’m just one click away, whether its what I was up to , what friends were doing, what we were watching, listening to or games we were playing.

Since Google+ launched I’ve been itching to try it out, but having an Apps account means I still can’t get access. After yesterday’s F8 keynote however, I’m not sure I’m really that bothered anymore. I’ll still probably give it a go when Google finally get around to letting Apps users have access, but yesterdays announcements Facebook has effectively given a great big "HA HA” Nelson Muntz style to Google and the anyone else hoping to take on the social giant.  Facebook has just raised the bar, and not by a Sergei Bubka 1cm at a time, not even a Usain Bolt record smashing measure. No Facebook has risen the bar by a couple of orders of magnitude.

On a final note, if you haven’t already seen it, I suggest you watch this video of the first few minutes of the keynote. Some interest new features for Facebook and very funny.

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