M80 on f8.oct03
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  • 1. M80 on F8 IntroductionSeptember 26, 2011 Exciting changes came out of last weeks F8 conference which will greatly affect how brands and consumers build relationships on Facebook. As GroupMs social media specialist agency, M80 has created this brief document cataloging the changes to the platform and what these changes mean to brands in social media. Should you wish to discuss these or other any other social media topics, please feel free to reach out to us via email (tim.fogarty@m80.com) or on Twitter (@m80im). Overview Surveying the new features to the platform, its clear that Facebook targeted the most compelling features of up-and-coming social networks, using its own scale and technological prowess to replicate and improve many applications that have lived as standalone presences. Each change seeks to inspire more activity within the Facebook social graph by creating more nuanced, accessible data for application developers and users alike. New Facebook Functionality Verb and Changes to the Open Graph Because F8 is for the development community, the biggest changes Facebook is rolling out are geared toward the functional. M 80
  • 2. Verb/GesturesM80 on F8 Through Facebook Gestures, the semantic and functional limitations ofSeptember 26, 2011 the Like button (and news-oriented Recommend button) are mitigated. Nearly any action can be created through Gestures - you can [verb] many [nouns] - triggering deeper interactions and assigning more meaning than the "Like" button could. The possibilities for application developers are very compelling and will drive toward greater social engagements, though early stage developer misuse and brand-side strategic re-alignments around interaction instead of fan count will cause growing pains. Changes to Open Graph and Permissions An early feature of Facebooks Open Graph was Beacon, launched in 2007 to automatically share users actions like purchases to their Walls. The world wasnt ready for Beacon, and the unpopular feature was shut down in 2009. Fast forward four years, and now that consumers are much more comfortable in sharing in social media, automatic sharing has been reintroduced. Every action in an application may now feed into a users timeline, creating with Gestures a larger understanding of what we do, what we want, and - in keeping with the previous paradigm - what we like. With obvious benefits for automated and human-powered recommendations, the data already generated by this change is flooding users tickers and feeds. Facebook Music, one of the first implementations of the new features afforded by the changes to Open Graph is powered by constant streams of activity from entertainment partners like Spotify. M 80
  • 3. TimelineM80 on F8 One of the initial draws to Facebook was its cleanly designed profiles -September 26, 2011 especially relative to the leader in social media at the time, MySpace. That visual cleanliness has come and gone in waves over the years, and with the roll out of Timeline it once again moves toward the "very busy" visual design the network once eschewed. The trade-off, though, is completely worth it. Facebook user profiles are changing from a "one-sheet" on who each of us is to the full story - displaying arcs of interests, relationships, and major life events. Just as users have curated interesting bits of content on networks like Tumblr, well now be able to curate the story of our lives through the many options of Timeline. The new design of Facebook profiles allows for much greater visual control of the page, once again gives a home to applications on the profie, and crucially allows for the easy browsing of the users entire social media story over the years. M 80
  • 4. AnalyticsM80 on F8 Perhaps most relevant to brand advertisers, new analytics tools forSeptember 26, 2011 applications will finally allow developers to better track the downstream effects of published actions. Source attribution for various measures of conversion has long been missing in Facebook insights, and this new functionality brings these numbers to the fore in a helpful (and even good- looking) way. This is hugely important, as new Verbs must be tested and optimized. What This Means About Facebooks Near Future Facebook is a rapidly maturing company, pivoting from building the complete social graph to driving ever more sharing and content consumption through its platform by using the hyperactive tech start-up space as a research and development laboratory. We can expect that Facebook and its application development partners will work hard to continue to bring new and different experiences to their users. Facebook Continuing to Innovate Once a social media behavior achieves early mass scale and mindshare among thought leaders, Facebook does one of three things: co-opt the technology, partner with the company, or buy them outright. The start-up ecosystem will continue to yield new new social interactions, and Facebook will be there to bring them to the masses. Technology and Analytic Provider Shake-Ups Many providers of technology and analytic tools hinge their entire business on Facebooks platform - as that platform changes, tools that had been very valuable for brands in social media may be immediately irrelevant, while others may quickly adapt to the new ways of working. Brands must evaluate its technology partners to make sure that the tools they use are actually worth continued investments. M 80
  • 5. M80 on F8 Developers Finding The UnexpectedSeptember 26, 2011 Everyones excited by these changes - whether in the positive or negative sense of the word - so there will be a flurry of users trying to get the most out of the new experience. Developers will provide a myriad of tools, toys and fixes to bring the best out of the platform for users, providing brands spaces in paid and owned media. What This Means For Brands When brands engage consumers on Facebook, they must play by the social networks rules - its Facebooks world, not ours. When changes debut, brands must evaluate how they plan to acquire and retain the consumers they wish to engage, how they plan to continue to engage with them, and which tools will do the best job to fulfill social media and business goals. New tools are going to give marketers different options to engage with consumers, from any connected device or website, at any time. Social media strategies and content plans should never be so calcified to not allow for a quick re-evaluation of a brands approach in social media, and brands and agencies alike must be careful to select tools and production partners that reflect and understand the new ways of working. M 80