Facebook’s Latest Changes: How to Navigate Them

by francine Hardaway on September 23, 2011

Ordinary people and small businesses using Facebook are going to come to grips with two new terms after the big announcements Mark Zuckerberg made today at f8, the Facebook Developer conference. The first is “self-expression,” which means your friends will know a lot more about what you read, what music you listen to, and even what you cook. The second is “serendipity,” which means if you see a friend of yours has watched a movie on Netflix, you can click on that app in your timeline and begin watching it immediately from within the app.

This could lead to a great deal of inadvertent oversharing. Facebook’s new idea is to make its platform a 21st century form of scrapbooking, and to help you “scrapbook” your entire life “frictionlessly.”

But you might want a little friction as you try to interact with all these changes. Let me see if I can give some tips on how to make the most of the new features and not fall into their traps.

As CTO Brett Taylor says, “when you change from the current profile view to the Timeline, you forget how much stuff is there.” That can work for or against you. We’re used to burying much of the past on Facebook and hoping it went away. Now it’s all going to be very retrievable, by anyone you friend.

In the next few weeks, you are going to get an entire new interface that will convert your life into a timeline. That timeline will have photos, updates, and a new set of “OpenGraph” apps.  While in the past, you could authorize apps and nothing might happen that you didn’t expect, that’s no longer going to be true,

Much more “passive sharing” will now be possible. Be careful what apps you authorize, because by default, much of what you do on Facebook with apps, or even outside Facebook with Netflix and Spotify, and  Facebook’s other integrated partners, will be shared automagically. Once you add an app to your timeline, you don’t have to give it permission to add stuff to your feed: “Adding an app to your timeline is like wiring a real-time connection between your app and Facebook…There is no step two,” says Facebook CTO Brett Taylor.

Third, you will be encouraged by the new interface to make Facebook your permanent home on the internet, which means the “walled garden” is pulling more partners in, rather than helping you get out to the wider world. So if you are a business, and you have a Facebook presence, you are going to need a much broader Facebook marketing strategy in order to find your new customers solely within the Facebook platform.

Well, the good news is that 800,000,000 from all over the world are now on Facebook. The bad news is that creates a lot of noise, and doesn’t necessarily help you reach the “right” people, especially since Facebook search is notoriously inferior.

The good news is that Facebook’s new design is based on better data visualization.  The bad news is that all that data is probably better for Facebook’s advertisers than for you. Remember that as long as you do not pay for Facebook, you are the product, not the customer. That’s why when you complain, Mark Zuckerberg

So Step !) Be careful who you friend. Step 2) Carefully explore your privacy settings and make sure you understand and Step 3) Think twice about adding apps.

Timeline Beta starts today, and with it, the common news apps that you might want to see. Watch out — it’s all coming soon to a neighborhood near you.

Enhanced by Zemanta

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Niland Mortimer September 27, 2011 at 11:16 am

Clear, sound advice as usual. Thanks for being our guide.

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: