As expected, Facebook made some rather sweeping changes and additions to its popular social network today at the company’s F8 conference in San Francisco.
To help you sort through all the commentary we’ve listed the most important features and changes below – which are expected to roll out over the next few weeks.
The Facebook Timeline will purportedly tell the “story of your life” from start to present, including photos, videos and apps.
Facebook describes it as “All your stories, all your apps, and a new way to express who you are,” in one single long page which scrolls right down to your birthdate, pinpointing moments of interest or significance in your life. Time to upload those Bar Mitzvah and wedding videos.
For those wondering how the Timeline fits into the news stream, it’s apparently based on an algorithm which weighs the importance of an event with when it took place, giving priority to one’s most recent events.
Users can also choose to view Timelines through selected media, for example, only pictures, or only video.
The biggest change here is that applications are now able to directly post a user’s actions to the live ticker without asking permission every time. For example, if a user decides to use the new Rdio or Pandora app on Facebook, the app would automatically post what they were currently listening to in the ticker in real time.
Facebook seems to have partnered with a plethora of firms to bring apps into the social network itself, including Spotify, Hulu, Netflix, Rdio, The Guardian and many, many more. There will be apps for TV, movies, books, games and news, all of which a user can interact with and which will automatically post a user’s actions into the ticker.
There will also be ‘lifestyle’ applications which the firm says will be able to track everything from what a person eats to how much they exercise, with certain bits of information even making it into the Timeline.
“Like” becomes broader
Instead of simply showing your friends what you “like,” the new Facebook design will now allow users to show other verbs in their newsfeed, for example “Ben is reading the bible,” or “Wendy is watching Mad Men.” Most of this will end up in the ticker, said the firm.
Different points of view
Like Burger King, Facebook claims to want you to have it your way, and that means choosing from between six different “views” a user can pick to sift through the now inflated content of their newsfeed. Views can be personalized and changed, said the firm.
All Timeline applications should also be able to work on every Facebook platform from launch, including mobile.