Later this week users will start to see even more changes to their Facebook profiles than they have ever done before. This change gives a complete new overhaul of how you and other viewers will see your personal profiles and introduces a new feature called Timeline.
You may have already noticed that there have already been some changes to the way your games and homepage look, adding a real time news ticker for you to see what your friends are currently doing. Along with this a new subscriber button has been added to subscribe to profiles where you can see updates from their public posts in your news feeds without being friends. This could be a nice little feature for those of you who have a lot of followers where you would like to share important news.
Developers and brands will also be interested to see the new changes that are happening to Facebook with the introduction of its Open Graph development, allowing instant updates to coincide with Facebook automatically.
When you first take a look at your new profile designs the first thing you may see other than the massive new cover photo (which we’ll talk about later) is a nice little timeline down the right hand side. Clicking the dates on this timeline will scoot back to that date and show users what they posted and did on that day. We found this a very interesting feature to introduce to profiles as it allows users to read peoples profiles almost as a blog style feature.
Another aspect to the timeline is the ability to update statuses, upload pictures, or add events that have happened in the past. For example; if you wanted to go back to a date to tell everyone when you started your new awesome job, all you need to do is click on the update status page from your profile as you normally would, and then add a date to when the event happened. Pretty cool huh?
The timeline consists of two columns side by side which displays stories nestled next to each other by date. If there was a single event that you feel takes prominence over others you can choose to make this a ‘feature’ of your timeline. Making a part of your profile a feature will display that story spread over the two columns rather than the individual one un-featured stories will have. To make a part of your profile a feature, simply navigate to your home page, hover over the event you want to become featured, and click the nice new star. We really like the look of photo albums within the new profile design showing 6 images from the album, giving a better look to its contents than its previous single photo you’d see on the older profiles.
The activity feed is a section you’ll find when viewing your own profile, when clicking the link labelled ‘View Activity’ you’ll find a stream of posts that you have made recently allowing users to edit display settings for those particular stories. This is good if there are a few items you would like to remove from the timeline, or you wanted to customize what parts of your posts are viewable to others.
Get ready for some customization! That’s right, Facebook have introduced a new cover image for your profiles. The cover photos give a look and feel of a personalised banner which is easily changeable with a quick upload, or you can use photo’s pulled straight from your already uploaded images. We think this has come from the popularity of people using the latest photos on the older profiles to make personalised banners above their news feed. It’ll be interesting to see how these are customized over the next few weeks.
Another major part to the new profiles is the use of maps; Facebook have utilized the power of Bing to bring updates to your friends about when you post stories and photos with a location. The map is a link found underneath your cover photo which when clicked displays a larger scale map with all the events that you have assigned with a location.
There are few more little surprises to the way your profile has changed, but we don’t want to ruin the whole surprise. A couple of tips we’ll give you is to check out the different sections to your profile we haven’t mentioned, as there is a nice look and feel to various sections such as friends, info and photo albums.
So if you’re a developer, or an owner of branded pages, how do these changes affect you? The answer is in many ways. A whole new section to Facebook’s Open Graph allows a user to add apps to their Timeline and any actions specific to that app are shared on Facebook via the Open Graph.
“As your app becomes an important part of how users express themselves, these actions are more prominently displayed throughout the Facebook Timeline, News Feed, and Ticker. This enables your app to become a key part of the user’s and their friend’s experience on Facebook.”
This gives social apps on Facebook a lot more power than they used to, an example of an app that utilizes this is Spotify. A partner of Facebook’s new timeline launch Spotify have improved the links between its player and Facebook, allowing users to keep song by song information synced with a profile. There are many other companies that have teamed up with Facebook recently who spoke at their latest F8 campaign. Some interesting companies to mention are Hulu, DailyMotion and NetFlix which points in the direction that Facebook are expanding the way they do Videos.
All we have to say is; watch this space!