Social media as we know it has changed with the new developments coming from Facebook this past week. We are embarking upon a world that is becoming even more transparent with people willing to share minute details about their lives in ways never before imagined. But with this new sharing of our musical, food, cultural, literary, movie, art tastes (and many more) comes a higher level of commitment to one another. We are now committing to our social graph, the people that make up our lives, our willingness to assess and review anything if not everything. Where will this land us in the near future? Only time will tell.
The following is a guest post by digital strategist and CEO of innerarchitect Susan Hanshaw. Susan describes what she perceives as the meaning behind the new Facebook announcements.
Today set in motion a game changer in the world of social networking as we know it. In its F8 news conference, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and other key players announced some significant changes to the platform that we see as revolutionizing the concept of social networking and will greatly impact the role of Facebook in user’s lives.
Change #1: The Timeline
Up until now a Facebook profile has been used to share updates, photos, links, etc. that go into a stream that goes back as far as anyone has the energy to click deeper into. It has been simply a stream of content you have shared since the time you began participating on Facebook.
Today Facebook announced the “Timeline”. The Timeline puts order to the shared content in a way that chronicles your life. For example, you can click on a link to a particular year where you will see the photos you shared, status updates describing what you were doing or where you went.
The Timeline is a game changer because the Timeline changes what Facebook is. Facebook has grown from being a social sharing service to a service that chronicles your life for you and anyone else who wants to get to know you.
Change #2: Heavy Emphasis on Social Apps
Facebook’s social graph has fostered a mentality where we look to the content we see from our friends and trust their recommendations more than advertising or algorithms. Expect to see a volume of apps that are designed to enable consumers to share what they are reading, listening to, cooking, buying, etc. so that friends can be introduced from a trusted source.
What this Means for Businesses
There has been no mention of business pages in the last 48 hours since Facebook began unveiling the new platform, yet our instincts are tied to the implications that Facebook is becoming a more personally meaningful platform in the user’s eye.
We have always seen that Facebook fans are not very different than fans of fan clubs from back in the day. While fans may like your products or services, they are probably more interested in learning about the people that make it all happen. As the Timeline becomes a chronicle for your fans’ lives, consider adjusting your page content to align with that vision. Increase the content you share about your key players and team, activities and missions you’re involved with.
To succeed in this revolution, you’ll need to think of Facebook not as a place to focus on your products and services, but rather a focus on who the people are that make it all happen. What do you see that I have missed?