Last week at Facebook’s annual f8 developers conference, key representatives from the social network and its founder Mark Zuckerberg himself made a number of big announcements about the ways the platform will be changing in the near future.
These changes include a new look and feel personal profile, less focus on the Facebook “like” and more opportunities to share and discuss all kinds of entertainment.
We’ve explored a few of the key changes to Facebook below:
1. Personal Profiles will now be Timelines of your life
Every Facebook user currently has a Personal Profile. This consists of a few different components, mainly a photo of the user, bits of basic information and their Wall with messages from their friends and details about their activity.
This Personal Profile will still exist, but it will look different and be referred to as a Timeline.
Instead of being just current information about what you’re doing, the Timeline will be a long stream of information about your whole life, including status updates, photos, people you’ve spoken to, events you’ve attended and even Facebook apps that you’ve used.
In this way it becomes a big virtual scrapbook of your life to date that you can control by selecting which information is visible to the public. You can see a snippet of a person’s Timeline in the image above.
Mashable has published a way to activate the new personal Timeline early, so you can sign up to that straight away if you want to. However, the changes will be made to EVERYONE’S profiles by the end of September onwards.
2. The News Ticker displays all current information from your friends’ pages and business pages
Although the Timeline feature hasn’t been rolled out to every user yet, the News Ticker has.
The News Ticker can be found above your News Feed, this is on the main Dashboard you see when you sign in.
The News Ticker will alert you to nearly everything your friends do or say on the platform much more than the News Feed ever did.
3. Apps will play a central role in the way we all use Facebook
There have always been apps within Facebook that let people integrate services like Spotify or play games like Farmville.
However, Facebook has launched a new type of app which lets users interact with it directly from within the platform itself.
So, if you see one of your friends talking about an article on The Guardian you click on the link and read the article from within The Guardian Facebook app instead of going to a separate website.
All kinds of apps will be able this way and will give people even more freedom and chances to discover new things. One of the first European partners to introduce an app has been Spotify. Now you can share, discover and listen to music using the Spotify application all from within Facebook.
4. Facebook will take less emphasis of the “like” and more on other verbs
The Facebook “like” button has proved to be very popular.
However, the platform doesn’t want users to feel the “like” is an endorsement because this puts a lot of people off clicking it. Instead it wants to introduce even more verbs into the mix to facilitate even more sharing and interaction.
So instead of “liking” a movie, you can click “watching” instead and this is being referred to as Facebook Gestures and is set to be rolled out in the next few weeks too.
There are a range of other changes being introduced this month as well, such as the Top Stories at the top of your News Feed and different sizes of image in your album. However, the four points above are the ones that everyone’s talking about and will have the biggest impact on the way people use the platform in the long run.
[Images via The Facebook Blog]