Facebook's Developer Conference (F8)

    Thinktank Social

    F8 is the yearly developer conference held by Facebook each year in San Francisco and draws in web developers and web industry from all over the world.
    With over 500 million people using Facebook each day, this is the event that makes the social media world hold its breath. Facebook is one of the emerging leaders in understanding that developers are the way of its future and with developers being given new accesses in ways that they weren’t able to connect previously.
    Already this week we have seen a change in the way Facebook looks and handles and as is always the case with Facebook deployments this has seen rise to loads of “bring back old Facebook” Facebook pages and friend status updates.
    All in all, I think the new announcements were a proactive response to try and put the “User” back in the data giving people more access to how and where the data is displayed. Until now Facebook’s overall design was mostly aimed at capturing user information then displaying the info in a way that suited the Facebook layout without any room for the user to customise layout on the data being displayed.
    Here’s some of the new Facebook goodies that was announced today at F8.

    • Timeline – This has been described as the story of your life in a single page and will show your history (as Facebook knows it) broken down into years.
    • Profile page – A number of changes to come around how you can display your information and really personalise your own page with what’s displayed where. This has been a much asked for item in the previous years with people being forced to use the standard facebook layout.
    • Open Connections – First there was the “Like” but moving forward facebook wants you to connect in a way that you prefer. The details around this is still very high level but there is new API functionality being opened up to allow developers to go forth and create new and fantastic ways of integrating.
    • Facebook Music – We had already heard that this was coming and Facebook brought out the big names for this one including Netflix and Spotify, what will be interesting is to see how this then rolls out outside of the US.
    • Mobile – There was talk of how developers can integrate better with mobile versions of Facebook, which I think so far has been almost forgotten in previous releases. Although today’s announcements are extremely high level the proof will be in the pudding when we get access to play with the new functionality.

    Ultimately this is something that Facebook would have already have been working on for sometime but of course was prompted to cleanup and release given the looming Google+ threat.
    So what do you think of the new changes, is it a step in the right direction for Facebook or is it a case of “if it ain’t broke dont fix it”?