Filtering by Tag: facebook

Mark Zuckerberg announces Facebook’s big changes

Today, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg unveiled some huge changes to the social network and its platform at f8, Facebook’s developer conference.

The tagline for today’s event is “Read. Watch. Listen,” which foreshadows the media features and content consumption and sharing functionality Zuckerberg announced from the stage.

But before Zuckerberg stepped onto the stage, Andy Samberg appeared to give his signature send-up of the young CEO, which both the crowd and “Zuck” himself clearly got a kick out of.

Timeline: The new Facebook Profile

Pointing out that the past five years have been about connecting people to one another, Zuckerberg told the crowd that half a billion people logged into Facebook in a single day just last week, a new record for the company.

“The next year is going to be defined by the apps and the depth of engagement that is possible now that everyone has their networks in place and connections established,” Zuckerberg said.

First, Zuckerberg unveiled Facebook’s new Profile UI, called Timeline: a curation of stories, apps and new ways to self-express in visual ways.

We’ve known for some time that Facebook Profiles were getting ready for a major interface and experience overhaul. In fact, Facebook’s been acquiring and hiring non-coding designers specifically to work on how Profiles present information about the user.

Over the summer, a Facebooker told us in an off-the-record interview that Facebook Profiles were soon going to become a much better way to get an at-a-glance picture of who you are, what you do, and what you like.

“Millions of people have spent years curating the stories of their lives,” said the CEO, noting that Facebook Profiles are too difficult a way to really get to know someone else or share information about yourself. He called the new Timeline “the next few hours of an in-depth conversation” between two people, whereas current Profiles are the first few minutes.

Timelines reflect the current state of web and app design. They’re in keeping with the multimedia-rich, touch-friendly look and feel of modern application design.

In addition to design, Zuckerberg talks about how Timeline sorts content algorithmically. As the user scrolls down a Timeline, information becomes more and more summarized. In other words, you’ll see more stories from this month, fewer stories from last year, and a highly condensed version of what happened to you in 2009. On the right column of the Timeline, you can click to narrow down to a given year or month.

Here’s an overview of how Timelines work:


Even though users tend to instantly hate any changes to their favorite web apps’ interfaces, Zuckerberg said while reviewing some of Timeline’s features, “We think that people are really going to like these… We wanted to design a place that you’re proud to call your home. It’s a completely new aesthetic for Facebook.”

Zuckerberg said the new Timeline is launching with a developer beta right now. In a later press conference, the company’s product chief, Chris Cox, noted that for most users, the rollout would be gradual and would occur over the next several weeks.

Ticker: A lightweight stream of what you’re up to

Next, Zuckerberg told the audience that Facebook will now allow users to express more specifically what they’re up to.

“We’re helping to define a new language for how people connect. When we started, the vocabulary was limited.” In other words, you’ve had to “like” brands, books, movies, locations — every kind of page on Facebook just got a simple “like.”

Now, instead of “liking” a book, you can tell friends you read it through Facebook’s new activities vocabulary. And you can do so without annoying all your friends.

When you share a post, it goes into your Timeline. But when you have an activity from the Open Graph, it goes into Ticker. Ticker activity appears in real time; you can see the Ticker on the right side of the Facebook homepage.

Ticker posts have some cool real-time interactions, too. From the stage, Zuckerberg demonstrated a Spotify integration that allows you to listen to a song in a Spotify note in Ticker just by hovering over the post.

For Ticker-type activity coming into Facebook from outside apps, users won’t get prompts for each lightweight action. Accordingly, the Permissions dialog has been redesigned. It’s simpler, and it gives automatic sharing functions to the app. Settings can be modified later from Facebook’s app and security pages.

Of course, a constant stream of real-time, lightweight activity from all your Facebook friends is a lot of noise and very little signal. Facebook is also allowing users to find patterns in this activity by digging a bit deeper on friends’ profiles. For example, you can see a friend’s favorite bands or albums based on Ticker activity from Spotify.

And speaking of Spotify, Facebook is getting ready to make some big music, movies and media announcements.

Taken from website:

Too Old for Facebook?

Those born in the 1970s and earlier are discovering that the social-networking site can be a compelling way to communicate

Fortunately, Debbie Weil had a 24-year-old daughter to clue her in when she joined Facebook. So daughter guided mom on the basics of the online social network, like "friending" another member or writing on someone's "wall." But daughter refused to tell mom what it meant to "poke" someone. So, Mom simply never pressed that button, unsure what it would do and a bit embarrassed to ask anyone else. "I've written a corporate blogging book and I still don't know what it means to poke someone," says Weil, a blogging consultant who gives her age as somewhere north of 45.

In growing numbers, the older set is discovering what millions of college students already know: Facebook can be a compelling, even addictive way, to communicate.


In just two months, Weil has accumulated 197 Facebook friends, including Steve Case, Chris Anderson, and Robert Scoble. Weil is one of the millions of people in their mid-30s and older who've joined Facebook during the past year. In all, unique visitors age 35 and older surged to 11.5 million in June. That was more than twice as many as a year ago and represented more than 40% of Facebook's total traffic in June, according to comScore Media Metrix.

There are quite a few groups within Facebook that cater to the older crowd. The "Born in the 60s. Any of us out there?" group boasts 1,950 members. Another group called "Unlike 99.99% of the Facebook population, I was born in the 50s" has 251 members.

Susan Pereira, 37, joined Facebook about two months ago and belongs to group whose name is no longer terribly apt: "Unlike 99.99% of the Facebook population, I was born in the 70s" now boasts 87,408 members. "I think a lot of people are turned off [by Facebook], thinking it's a kids thing, but I have found so many people my age getting into it and realizing how much fun it is," Pereira, a veterinary office assistant in Vancouver writes in a Facebook message to me. "It's such an amazing way to reconnect with people, stay in contact with people who matter and make new friends."


Pereira has a point. Although I've built profiles on a handful of social-networking sites, Facebook is the first I've actually wanted to use in my personal life. MySpace always felt a bit intimidating, like going to a huge frat party alone. But with Facebook's privacy tools, it feels like there's more control.

But unlike anything I've encountered in my 37 years, Facebook makes me really feel like I've finally crossed over to the other side of the generation gap. I'm not entirely clear on all of Facebook's unwritten social rules, all the things that college kids seem to understand intuitively. Yes, that includes what it means to poke someone. Facebook's help page says only that "a poke is a way to interact with your friends on Facebook" and that "people interpret the poke in many different ways." That's really no help. If I poke my boss as a playful gesture, for instance, will I be fired for sexual harassment?

"You have to be careful. It depends on what your relationship is with people originally," says Tom Krieglstein, 26, the founder of SwiftKick, a company that helps educate students and school administrators about social-networking sites like Facebook. "It can have a sexual connotation," but also can be used as a business tool to build rapport with colleagues and clients, Krieglstein says.


Then there's the fundamental question of just how much personal information to reveal. While privacy doesn't appear to be much of an issue for the younger crowd, older people are often more wary about sharing personal bits of their lives. Facebook profiles include room for personal information such as your birthday, dating or marital status, sexual preferences, religion, politics, education, and details of your job. Right off the bat, you can list exactly what you're looking for, whether it's friendship, dating, or random play, which, be warned, is not a pickup game of flag football.

Weil says she really struggles with how much personal information to reveal. She recently posted a map on her profile of all the places she's been and the places she'd like to go. But she wonders if that's too personal. While most younger people likely wouldn't think twice about something like that, I can sympathize.

When I built out my Facebook profile, for instance, I expected it to be entirely personal and pretty much limited to my real-life family and friends. Now, when I get friend requests from people I barely know, I need to consider whether I'd want them to see the phone numbers in my profile, detailed information about my husband, or that one of my current TV obsessions is Scott Baio is 45…and Single. My work and home e-mail accounts are already flooded with press releases and spam, so I'm not sure I want my Facebook "News Feed" to be littered with updates from people I really don't know.


Because Facebook requires members to approve or ignore each friend request, decisions need to be made as to who exactly qualifies as a friend. "I got a friend request from Facebook from someone who's as close to a professional enemy as I have," says Clay Shirky, an adjunct professor at NYU's Interactive Telecommunications Program. Shirky decided not to accept the invitation. Yet there are lots of gradations between best friend and professional enemy, so deciding who makes the cut can be hard. I've only accepted invitations from people whom I know well enough to give my cell-phone number. So far, because most of my close friends are not yet on Facebook, I've only got seven friends.

It's a challenge that other thirtysomethings face as well. Tracy Lynn Deis, 38, a consultant in Chicago, joined Facebook about a month ago and wishes more of her thirtysomething friends would join. "I've made new friends on Facebook, but they're all younger than me," says Deis, who now visits Facebook every day. "It's an awesome way to talk and to share family pictures," she says.

Intrepid Facebook souls that we are, Weil and I decide it's high time we find out what actually happens when you press the poke button. Does it send some sort of X-rated message? So, she tests it out on me. Turns out, it's a harmless message in my Facebook News Feed that says, "You were poked by Debbie Weil."

Rachael King is a writer for in San Francisco.