There have been many updates to Facebook over recent weeks, many of which have yet to be reflected in the Facebook Platlas. Below we’ve outlined the major changes and their implications on the future of Platlas.
This is not so much a new feature, but rather a complete revamp and enhancement of the Facebook profile. It’s purpose is to tell the story of the user’s life, as they exist and communicate through content sharing on Facebook. Recent history on the Timeline showcases a broader range and quantity of items. Older points on the Timeline begin to feature less items the farther back the exploration goes, effectively displaying a less, but more important content. Users can influence what content is and is not shown at all points.
Features & Functionality of Timeline:
- • Nodes: Users can add items to the timeline by clicking a node on the timeline.
- • Feature Timelines: Photos, Maps and Apps have their own individual timeline views.
- • Cover Photo: A header-like image that resides at the top of the user’s Timeline. It serves as a banner-like, customizable secondary profile picture.
- • Featuring and Hiding stories: Users can specifically define which nodes to feature in an expanded view, hide in a node, or in some cases, deleting all together.
- • Privacy: These can be crafted specific to any item on the timeline.
- • Apps: Users can opt in or out of application activity feed stories. If opted in, apps will automatically display activity on the user’s Timeline.
Ticker is a lightweight stream of all real-time friend activity through Open Graph. Users can interact with ticker stories and experience some media-oriented activity, instantly and in-line. When users discover content through the ticker, the user whose activity they interacted with receives a Facebook Notification.
The News Stream
Content in this selective story space is presented to the user based on Facebook’s architected balance of ingredients: Affinity between the viewing user and the user who created the content, the weight of interactions by users (comment, tag, Like, etc), timeliness of content, and patterns. Essentially, content from the Ticker or content on a user’s Timeline is more likely to show up in the newsfeeds of friends when there is a higher volume of interactions associated with that content, or with several friends sharing similar content (thereby creating patterns).
Much of what Platlas currently showcases as Facebook features are now considered applications themselves. Examples include Photos, Notes and Events. Cumulatively, apps allow users to create a continually growing graph of the relationships, actions and behaviors in their daily lives. With the addition of a “noun + verb” format available to publish user stories, applications can contribute simply yet powerfully to a user’s Timeline. To facilitate this experience (through Facebook native apps and 3rd party software), users are prompted once to allow fluid and automatic publishing, no longer thru an instance-by-instance manual prompt.
Additionally, it’s worth noting that Facebook has documented it’s view of the App landscape with the following categories, the first two of which have existed on Facebook previous to the F8 announcements:
- • Communication
- • Games
- • Media
- • Music
- • Movies
- • TV
- • News
- • Books
- • Lifestyle apps
- • Exercise
- • Travel
- • Fashion
- • Food
Other Application Features:
- • Application Permissions: These screens have been completely redesigned. Users will now see exactly how the application will be added to their timeline.
- • Notifications: More dynamic and powerful, the notification system now sends real-time updates to users as friends discover new content through them.
- • In-line Applications: Users can now stay on Facebook to control applications. For example, users can simply click on a song in their feed to activate 3rd party software directly from Facebook.
The Share Bar
Sharing has been consolidated. The text box to enter a status update is now only displayed once you click on it.
Post Specific Privacy
Facebook has taken a more open approach to Privacy, allowing users to custom tailor each of their updates to a specific privacy setting.
Status Updates and Places
Places are now nearly fully integrated into pages, and the ‘checkin’ action has now become an appendage to the user action of updating their status. Appending a friend to that status update, which has the same functionality as an @usertag, is also an option. Also, the option to add a link is gone – Facebook recognizes what you are posting is a link and adds the appropriate meta-data information accordingly.
There is now no longer a distinction made between posting and uploading photos and videos.
New list controls are a direct response to Google+ and were rolled about just before F8. These lists allow you to change your newsfeed from the default view and have it tailored whatever way you want it. Some of these lists are created intelligently, using behavior and other relevant user data to create the list.
Before, depending on Privacy settings, users mostly had to be friends with somebody in order to see their updates. Now users are able to subscribe to any Facebook user and see any of their public updates, an action which is facilitated by Facebook’s revamped approach to privacy with Lists and post-specific privacy.
Additionally, there are some non-visual changes in functionality that affect a user’s experience and how Facebook works overall:
The new “noun + verb” functionality now means that for every person, interest, and activity an application can be created to make the subject a seamless social experience. Pairing nouns and verbs allows applications to create moments of serendipity, self expression, shared experiences, and patterns – making the Open Graph the biggest opportunity for new classes of apps.
Graph Rank is an Artificial Intelligence System that discovers the most interesting activity around a user. This results in a personalized view of a user and their friendss interests. As with Edge Rank, higher Graph Rank values make it more likely for an object to appear in the news feeds of a user’s friends. Unlike Edge Rank however, users are able to optimize their Graph Rank in real time based on feedback from interactions (i.e. likes and comments).