F8 2011: News From Facebook's Huge Event

               Facebook announces sweeping changes at F8, their annual developers conference. Here's a review of all the new features and changes that they've introduced.

To start things off on a happy a note, comedian Andy Samberg gave his best impersonation of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

Andy Samberg impersonates Mark Zuckerberg at F8 2011

New Profile Design

The revamped profile now called 'Timeline' looks different with a new focus on photos and events. The user can choose what activities they'd like to share in their continuous stream, highlighting moments from his or her life, starting from the present day, moving back chronologically to the first day he or she was on on Facebook and before.

Introducing Facebook Timeline - #F8 2011

       The timeline now functions as a personal online scrapbook, with the most important photos and text that users have shared on Facebook over the years. It is Facebook's attempt at growing from an online hangout to a homestead, where people express their real selves and merge their online and offline lives. The timeline can go back to include years before Facebook even existed, so users can pretty much add photos and events from the day they were born.

P.S ~ Timeline won't be available to users for "a few weeks," so savor that old profile while you still can (or start to get excited for the new one!).

Read more about the new Facebook at their official blog,

A Revamp of How You Interact And Share

Interacting with the content posted on Facebook: In addition to "Liking" videos, articles and posts about what your friends enjoy, you can now take part in these activities with your friends in real-time. These changes are made possible through Facebook's Open Graph platform


A New Class of Social Apps on Facebook: Apps That Share Automatically

          Facebook is partnering up with a whole bunch of websites, mostly those that previously had fb plugins, and app-makers, to bring content that can be shared and consumed on the Facebook platform. Notable app genres include music apps like Spotify and Rhapsody, streaming video apps for Netflix and Hulu and news apps for the New York Times, Washington Post. Facebook's "new class of social apps" can post updates to your Timeline automatically. Apps no longer have to ask for permission to post content to Facebook over and over again. Instead, a new Facebook permissions screen explains exactly what type of stories will be shared the first time you give an app permission to post to your Facebook. Once completed, it will no longer have to ask for permission 

New Layout For Updates Posted 

       The Timeline is wider than the old profile and displays content in two columns. Posts appear in a continuous stream in chronological order, from top (most recent) to bottom (oldest). The layout is very visual and emphasizes large pictures and important events.

Videos With Friends

The Open Graph brings deeper video integration to the Facebook platform. For example, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings explained at f8 (and in a subsequent blog post) that users will be able to watch movies together--right from Facebook--with the Netflix movie streaming in a separate window. Though Hastings noted that this concurrent watching isn't allowed in the United States, he said that a bill is currently in Congress to legalize it. Other streaming sites like Hulu, YouTube, Daily Motion, VEVO and more will all allow for concurrent watching with Facebook friends.

Yearly, Monthly Navigation

The Timeline will feature a navigation panel along the right side of the page. This list of years, which can expand to display months, allows users to quickly jump to a spot in their timeline and view their posts from that moment in time. You can also manually scroll up and down through the timeline to search activity by month and year.

Introducing Music Discovery

Facebook now helps users discover new music. As part of its larger entertainment initiative, Facebook will launch a music dashboard, which will display music-specific notifications and updates, and also show which songs are currently popular within one's network of friends. 

Facebook has a New Friend: Spotify, The Soundtrack to your Social Life. 

Other music partners include Rhapsody, turntable, Songza, mixcloud, Slacker Radio, Rdio, Deezer, Mog, tunein, iHeartRadio, earbits and Soundcloud.

Stories Inside Facebook

When a friend posts a news article or story that they've enjoyed, you can read it within Facebook. A few of the participating publications include: Digg, Fipboard, Gawker, The Washington Post, USA Today and others.

Many apps will be available starting today, though you can expect the new Timeline profile in about "a few weeks," according to an official Facebook blog,

Coverage of Mark Zuckerberg Presenting at F8 2011

If you have a large network on Yahoo profiles here's some extra developments that you can look forward to

As read on Technorati

..........Yahoo will announce a relaunch of Yahoo Profiles and their “all in” integration with Facebook Connect, including on the Yahoo home page. We’ve all known deep integration with Facebook was coming, but until now it wasn’t clear exactly how deeply Yahoo would go.

Read More at, http://techcrunch.com/2010/06/06/yahoo-goes-all-in-with-facebook-here-are-the-screenshots/

If you are slightly skeptical of all the new changes, additions and developments here's a slightly critical take by Bianca Lambert of The Huffington Post,

........' What do you make of the changes? Are these new apps creepy or convenient? Are you excited about the new information you'll discover, or worried about what might come to light? . '...........

Read more at,   Facebook's 'New Class Of Social Apps' Could Be Big Business For Site, Big Burden For Users

                     I personally believe that these new developments will greatly empower users in many ways, along with giving the Social Network and its millions of profiles a more personal touch. Ultimately it all depends on how, why and for what reasons they may or may not be receptive to some of the new features. Unlike most other technology companies the greatest challenge and test for a Social Network or a Social Network based business is off course the emotional appeal that it has with its users. We live in a Knowledge based Society where information can be both advantageous and refreshing. Adding that bigger dimension to staying in touch is what I believe facebook might just accomplish with this before the end of 2011. Most people should be quick to catch up with all the new stuff that they will now have access to based on how well the developers at Facebook and their partner sites have implemented and presented these features. Apart from the transitioning process another key factor off course is the ease of use and being able to turn off or disable certain features. ( Something that Facebook has done well every time it introduced something new).

 P.S ~ I think I'm really going to enjoy being able to do so much more with facebook. Reaching out to 800 million users at once is a noteworthy achievement that will go down in history, perhaps a small indication of all the possibilities that the future has in store . Keep up the good work guys. Best Wishes and KUDOS to You ALL :)

~Posted by Jai Krishna Ponnappan