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Posted at 03:00 PM ET, 09/22/2011

f8: Facebook CEO Zuckerberg introduces Timeline


A peek at Timeline, the newly designed Facebook profile. (Courtesy of Facebook)
Mark Zuckerberg's first announcement during his keynote speech at Facebook’s f8 conference: The social network is revamping the user profile in a complete “Timeline.”

The company founder and CEO took the stage in San Francisco on Thursday to explain the next steps for the search engine’s platform and his hope to build more social apps for the network.

The Timeline has three main components, Zuckerberg said --- all your stories, all your apps and a new way to express who you are.

Translated from his spin, Timeline is a comprehensive and curated version of your entire history on Facebook. Pictures and videos are featured prominently, making profiles much more visually focused. Visitors to your profile can click on a year to explore what users have been up to in the past — histories are more abridged the farther back you go.

Filters based on the type of content (pictures, videos, etc.) and a map of the world allow users to relive where they were when they posted the media.

Users can also customize the top of their timeline, called a “cover” — a large photo at the top of the profile that will look familiar to anyone with a blog. In fact, the whole profile looks more like a blog, which fits in with Facebook’s decision to extend the limit on user updates to 5,000 characters. The company is also revamping the “Like” button, adding more verbs such as “read” or “watched.”

And how does this all work with apps? Zuckerberg said they will be fully integrated into the Timeline, with their own reports that give updates about activity on each app. That means that users won’t actively click to share updates from apps — the apps will add that information to a user’s Timeline automatically.

Through the ticker, users can also listen to music — Zuckerberg used Spotify in his example — along with their friends. Following a song along with a friend also subscribes the user to the friend’s music. The feature is similar to one used by Netflix — in a single click users will be able to watch movies together.

Facebook is also trying to change the way people get news. He revealed that the site is partnering with news outlets such as Yahoo News, The Daily and, yes, The Washington Post. Users will be able to click on an item in a news stream and read it on the site without ever leaving the social network.

They can also read what their friends are reading and find new content based on suggestions.

“This new app is fun,” said Donald Graham, chairman and chief executive of The Washington Post Co. “If you know that several of your friends have read a story, you’ll be more interested in it.”

The Washington Post’s app will look familiar to anyone who’s used the Trove application, but all the content is pushed directly to Facebook.

Gaming app notifications have also been redesigned to show users when their friends are playing games together and what they’re doing. And, of course, you can join in via a screen overlaid in your browser.

Facebook is also adding lifestyle apps, such as Nike and Foodspotting, which will issue regular reports on a user’s app activity. Zuckerberg said he is particularly looking forward to seeing his annual eating report.

All these apps are made possible by a new developer platform called the Open Graph.

More announcements are expected later in the day.

You can tune in to watch the keynote below.

Disclaimer: Washington Post Co. Chairman and Chief Executive Donald E. Graham is a member of Facebook’s board of directors.

Related stories:

More technology coverage from The Post

Facebook changes confuse users, as a major overhaul looms

Facebook redesigns News Feed, officially adds Ticker

By  |  03:00 PM ET, 09/22/2011

Tags:  social networking

 
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