Last night, at 8pm Eastern Standard Time, Facebook unveiled the next evolution in the Facebook platform. Following up on last year’s F8 conference in which Timeline was introduced, Open Graph was extended to “frictionless sharing” applications and Gestures were explained, Facebook has partnered with 60 websites that want YOU to set it and forget it. For those that don’t know what the hell I’m talking about here’s the whole thing in a nutshell:
Open Graph Frictionless sharing
Frictionless sharing apps apps let you authorize an application once, and then the app can post to your brand new timelines whenever you do anything in that application. To simplify further, click a link on the Washington Post Social Reader and it’ll share to your timelines, listen to a song on Spotify or Rdio, it’ll share to your timeline, buy concert ticket on Ticketmaster and it’ll post to your timeline. Get it? You authorize it, then go about your life and it will share every single detail about what you do (in that application) without you ever needing to do anything more.
Gestures is a the clever follow up to the Facebook Like button. Now you can Verb a Noun. For instance, developers can create a bought a song button or a ran a mile. It’s simply a more contextual way to share activities and opinions about things.
Of course Marketers LOVE this. We want to build applications that automatically share to your timeline. We want to be the first on-board to add context.
I’d love to have a button that my clients could hit that said I just built a social business. How clever is that?!
Marketers are crossing their fingers that no one raises another privacy concern about the fact that they are being tracked like endangered species, sharing their every movement across the web interacting with things and sharing it with their social graphs.
Marketers are hoping that YOU blindly accept the new authorization and just blast the web with every link you click, song you listen to, activity you engage in. Every single action you take, online and offline, and share on Facebook is valuable data that we can use to determine your buying behaviors, create a profile and target ads at you. It helps us understand what you want to BUY and which of your friends want to BUY.
You can fill up this web of information with a full profile, starting with when you wake up until the time you go to sleep. Heck, we might even be able to track how you sleep so we can sell you pillows and white noise machines. Think I’m kidding? Zuckerberg is excited to get his Jawbone Up synced to Timeline, now we’ll get to know when he’s sleeping.
Marketing has a long history of blasting and bombarding. THANKFULLY we can finally do that again.
Users say “huh?”
But what does this mean for you as a user? Well that depends; are you going to enable these applications without reading what they do? If so, it means you can expect to share something accidentally. It actually means that you can expect to share something accidentally and possibly never realize you’ve done it unless someone calls you out. That “Red Hot Red Heads” article/pictorial on Yahoo looks interesting but just be sure you aren’t friends with your boss on Facebook when you’re looking at it at 1:00pm on a Tuesday. You will also have SO much fun when your friends call you out for ripping on Kelly Clarkson when in reality you play it on Spotify pretty frequently.
If others in your network enable these apps it also means you can expect much more content. Since there aren’t nearly enough ways to find new music or articles, now you can read what your friends are reading or listen to what they are listening to also! So buckle up because there much more time to spend on Facebook now. There’s actually almost no need to leave Facebook at all, you’re safe here.
Why this is SO great!
The whole frictionless sharing thing is great because it removes you from having to decide what to share. Truthfully, that was an irrelevant step in the process anyway.
As a user, I’m not so interested in what you choose to share with me, I much prefer just knowing what you are doing at any given time, without the need to actually connect with you in any meaningful way like a phone call, a text or even a Facebook message. If you’d be so kind, I’d actually prefer that you lifestream every second of your day.
As a marketer this is great because most users have stopped caring or simply don’t understand what all the new changes are about. This will help us spread our marketing messages far and wide. Thankfully now we can go back to the golden age of marketing, bypass the whole one-to-one connection thing and just flood the internet with crap, yeah, that’ll be nice.
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