Facebook is giving users means, motive, and opportunity. What are you going to do next?
It wasn’t that long ago I was presenting an introduction to social media and warned people that Facebook wasn’t something you could approach with a one off strategy for their organisation. Not just because a Facebook presence requires constant gardening (and like any social channel it does), but because Facebook is a constantly evolving entity. However, the current wave of changes announced at Facebook’s F8 conference are something significant and quite exciting.
If you haven’t watched these videos already, they give you a glimpse at what is coming:
Looking at these two new elements together, really what Facebook has done is brought the concept of lifecaching to the masses. Lifecaching as a concept isn’t new but through its massive user base, development platform and the accessibility of mobile computing, Facebook presents users with means, motive, and opportunity to make this happen on a scale that other start ups and researchers can only dream of.
Josh Catone on Mashable points out that Facebook’s all encompassing vision won’t be great for those who need to fill in that timeline retrospectively. And there is also no doubt that some users won’t be happy with these changes, but the number of users with Facebook accounts and the way it is increasingly embedded in the everyday Web means that really we’ve have reached a tipping point that would require a mass exodus to make a difference to the direction Facebook is taking us in.
One of the most interesting changes coming from the new and extended version of the Open Graph (used to enable the new features you see in the videos above) is that the vocabulary of the “Like” is being expanded. Based on a user -> action -> object model, Facebook provides the following examples:
A running app may define the ability to “run” (action) a “route” (object). A reading app may define the ability to “read” (action) a “book” (object). A recipe app may define the ability to “cook” (action) to a “recipe” (object).
Facebook has already linked up a number of social media apps to integrate using this new method. If you are a brand or organisation you should be thinking now about both what these overall changes mean for not just your overall Facebook strategy but also more tangibly, how will you take advantage of this new vocabulary in the apps you existing apps and future apps. For innovators, the new Open Graph is in fact a platform for socially integrated services and products.
And if you are working on social intranets and apps inside your organisation, Facebook has just provided us with a vision of where workforce collaboration is going next once we really interconnect business systems and users through workplace social networking backbone.
Hold on to your seats, everything could be about to change again.