Facebook Uses F8 to Lead Others To Cry “Uncle!”

The news coming out of Facebook’s F8 conference in San Francisco is promising with much of the buzz surrounding the well-protected announcement of the new timeline feature. With the new feature that places all the information users have entered into Facebook over the years into an interactive timeline, it actually makes me sort of wish that I had been putting more information on Facebook over the years… for a second.  I still am wary of what I put up on Facebook due to privacy concerns and their extension of open graph to provide updates on what users are doing automatically is interesting, exciting and a whole lot of scary.  The expanded feature will now share that you are listening to a specific song on Spotify so that others could listen too, or that you’re running through the park using Nike+, or cooking, or watching, or reading… you get the picture.  Even with all the selectors of privacy levels for sharing, it is a LOT of information that Facebook has and they are smart in building more opportunities to become a larger part of people’s lives.

Facebook Timeline Video

Facebook Open Graph Video

Another thing to come out of F8, but certainly without the spin that I’m putting on it, is that MySpace (or whatever is left of it) has got to be exasperated and crying “Uncle!”  After deciding to change direction in the face of Facebook’s command of the social sharing space, MySpace shifted to become an “entertainment hub” around 18 months ago.  Even then, it was sort of confusing as a media planner to understand what they meant by that.  They have still not really clarified what they meant nor gained gained a real foothold and now Facebook has primed itself to blow them further out of the water by further usurping that entertainment hub concept.  With Facebook’s deeper tie-ins with Spotify and Hulu, they have completely placed themselves as the social portal for entertainment.  Had MySpace formed agreements like this a while ago, many would have taken it seriously as an entertainment hub – with people spending more time on the pages.  Instead, this development allows Facebook to further decimate MySpace.  Too bad MySpace didn’t leverage its familial (News Corp) ties with Hulu to make this deal…

As a continuation to the post a few days ago about Facebook’s revenue, the timeline and open graph could lead to many more forms of revenue.  By getting users to ingest more historical photos and documents to build out their timelines, there is an opportunity to leverage the information to discern more about users’ tastes. But, on perhaps a more incremental scale, they likely will be able to offer more services like photo books of the timelines (a great gift for family members) that Apple and Kodak have derived a solid incremental business from.

There hasn’t been enough time to really look deeply at the new developments from F8 – and they are still coming – but it just seems like Facebook is fully taking advantage of its reserves to ratchet up their online supremacy…



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