The F8 Developer Conference took place yesterday in San Francisco where Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg introduced us to the next generation of Facebook. The event highlighted several updates and evolutions of the Facebook site, from improved media integration to a reformatted, newspaper style lay-out.
The new layout of Facebook pages was first revealed earlier in the week, with the general concept of the newspaper round-up informing the changes. Facebook described the rationale behind the developments as follows:
When you pick up a newspaper after not reading it for a week, the front page quickly clues you into the most interesting stories. In the past, News Feed hasn’t worked like that. Updates slide down in chronological order so it’s tough to zero in on what matters most.
With the change comes a general shift in the Facebook offering. The news inspired format, along with various other notable changes (the Timeline addition, the expansion of the “liking” process, and the enhanced integration of various media channels) represents a paradigmatic shift towards story telling and the increasingly ubiquitous presence of the social media network in all aspects of our daily lives.
Following a grace period after which everyone will be moved over to the Timeline lay-out, Facebook users will be able to showcase their life history to Facebook friends. The Timeline will be a curation of images, videos, apps, and past posts of any given user, offering “a new way to express who you are”, according to Zuckerberg.
The inclusion of various apps within the Timeline allows users to add that extra dimension to their chronology. In addition to this, people can include past locations at appropriate points in time on a map. Just to remind you about that trip you took in 2003.
It was never enough to simply like something or someone. Sometimes that just doesn’t cut it. Now, with the transition of the Facebook Like entity to a complex set of more relevant verbs, our relationship with places, people, and events are far more expressive and informative. Newer expressions include read, eat, hike, and listen.
Users will now be able to share their audio and visual discoveries as well with the Ticker development. Located above the updated chat feature, users are being informed of their friends eating, reading, and musical preferences. This is yet another aspect to the newer expressive and all-inclusive nature of the Facebook profile, keeping those closest (or not so close) updated on our daily activities.