Facebook’s innovation machine

Facebook’s recent product releases in F8 are potentially disruptive on multiple fronts and very exciting. My plan is to write a few short posts about the changes, and this first post is mostly about Timeline.

Facebook’s strategy
Almost all of the changes announced reinforce Facebook’s strategy on increasing engagement, collecting more personal data, and extending the Open Graph platform outside Facebook. All of those changes will potentially enable Facebook to charge more advertising dollars in the future for letting brands access the Facebook user base.

This latest release also marks Facebook’s entry into new spaces beyond games, mostly entertainment related (music, video). Getting more users is no longer an issue for Facebook, it’s all about how to increase user level of engagement and own all the private and social data out there. Facebook has been doing a very good job so far:

Facebook’s Timeline
This one is a mix between 1000 memories and Myspace on steroids (especially with Facebook boxes back). Polishing profiles is a natural and irresistible behavior and back in the days Myspace (unintentionally) created an entire eco-system of profile enhancement, widgets and layouts around Myspace which drove a substantial part of the engagement there.

Funny that it took Facebook sometime to realize why Myspace worked (until it stopped working…) – because people were busy grooming their profiles. A friend from Facebook mentioned that user activity analysis showed that peeking into profiles (Did anybody say stalking?) and tweaking one’s own profile are key user behaviors, so Facebook decided to further develop that.

  • With Facebook’s focused on building your “Timeline”, developers will fight on who gets to push something into users’ Timelines because it becomes a sticky newsfeed item (and will squeeze more traffic out of newsfeed items)
  • Timeline has the potential to provide a big push for developers in specific verticals. For example, a company like Gogobot, which is working hard on tying in Social and Travel, can greatly benefit from doing a deep integration with Timeline. For Photo sharing and video sharing application timeline might actually be an empowering factor, if they execute correctly on the product side, or it could seriously hurt them if Facebook decides to push hard in this space through its own photo sharing (and Facebook now has 350M mobile users…)
  • Stay tuned for additional vignettes on some of the other interesting features.

    One thought on “Facebook’s innovation machine

    1. Sandeep Kumar

      Nice post. Have gone closely through all of your post and it was nice to read all. Would like to read further as well. Also would like to get in touch with you.

      Reply

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