We are here in San Francisco for Facebook’s f8 developer conference. CEO Mark Zuckerberg is about to take the stage for the keynote presentation. The announcements are expected to come fast and furious, from music partnerships, premium video, a profile redesign and new buttons (Read, Watch, Listen) that Facebook may launch to take over the Web.
Will we see anything from the so-called “Project Spartan?” What exactly is Facebook’s relationship with premium video providers like Hulu and Netflix? We’ll be kicking off our live blog in just a few minutes so stay tuned.
9:45 — We are ready and kicking. The main room here is packed and people are checking out this giant video board. One of the first things we noticed is that there is a badge attached to the registration called “f8 Presence.” Essentially, you tap it to a station, get your picture taken and the pictures will be uploaded to your Facebook account. Have not had a chance to try it yet, but seems like an interesting concept.
From the registration booklet — The Legend of the Keg Presence Hack:
“Facebook Presence was conceived by Facebook engineers Pedram Keyani and George Lee while discussing their passion for beer and technology. They created the first version of Facebook Presence, called Keg Presence, at a company hackathon to give employees a way to share when they were having a beer. Employees would tap their badge, get their photo taken, and generate a feed story whilst grabbing a beer with friends.”
9:50 — The bull rush to get seating at the keynote has concluded and I find myself between Robert Scoble and Dean Takahashi of VentureBeat. About ready to rock out.
9:57 — The stage is empty, but they just announced that Zuckerberg should be up momentarily. People still milling about to their seats.
10:04 — The crowd is getting restless. The process has been a bit delayed this morning, from the line to get into the building to the start of the keynote.
10:10 — Announcement just came in that we are going to be starting the keynote in about five minutes.
10:15 — Wait, that is not Mark Zuckerberg! That is Andy Samberg from Saturday Night Live. Getting the crowd warmed up.
10:20 — Samberg: New Facebook feature “I’m not really friends with these people.” Announces the “slow-poke” that takes 24 hours to reach the person so you can sober up and take the poke back.
10:22 — The real Zuckerberg comes on stage. Witty banter between the two. Samberg: “Can you loan me a billion dollars?” Zuckerberg: “Is it for weed again?”
10:25: Zuckerberg: “Last week, for the first time ever, we had half a billion people use Facebook on the same day.”
Zuckerberg is going to start with the profile and how that is going to change. What is likely going to follow is how the new media and content features fit into the new profile.
10:29 — Looks like Zuckerberg is going to go over all the changes that Facebook made to the profile recently. Making sure that discussions are consistent. “We have been working on it all year and we are calling it Timeline. Timeline is the story of your life and it has three pieces. All your stories, all your apps and a new way to express who you are.”
10:32 — So, the Timeline can scroll your life and photos for what it seems like infinity, from the first ever photos to what is happening now. Scrollable all the way down on one page, it looks like. As with almost everything that is going to be announced today, there is a mobile aspect to it as well. In terms of the engineering, that may be the harder hack to write.
10:35 — Timeline “is exactly how you want to browse through time.” You can add photos and tell Facebook what year the photos is supposed to go within the timeline.
10:37 — Looks like you can map out your Timeline. You can see where you were when the major events in your life happened. Zuckerberg is moving on to apps now. “People who use Facebook, really love apps.” Talking about how people added boxes to their profiles when apps rolled out in 2007.
“We think that people are going to want to share all kinds of things with their lives and we think that apps are the way they want to show them,” Zuckerberg said.
10:40 — “One of the ways we think that you are going to discover new apps is from your friend’s timeline.” Even the application permission screen has been redesigned so that apps can function with the timeline.
On to “one more big piece,” Zuckerberg said. “We wanted to make Timeline a place where you are proud to call your home … It starts with the ability to highlight and curate your life.”
Looks like you can add a big picture, a “cover,” to the top of the timeline. Zuckerberg’s dog, Beast (who has been getting a lot of play today) is how Zuckerberg is “expressing himself.”
10:47 — “It all works really well in an immersive mobile experience,” Zuckerberg just said of Timeline. Our Marshall Kirkpatrick just called it “like Flipboard for Facebook.” That is probably a good description. Showing a video of Timeline now. What are your first impressions of Timeline? Let us know in the comments.
10:50 — Next up will be the “next version” of the open social graph and how it can change the way apps are created.
“Instead of “liking” a movie, you can just watch a movie … you can connect to anything in anyway that you want … we think this will help you share to an order of magnitude greater than you did before. “
Last year they added “like” to nouns. This year Zuckerberg says they are going to add “like to verbs.”
10:54 — The “ticker,” which we have covered before, is the lightweight option in Facebook that will be the stream of what your friends are doing.
“With this update to the open graph we are going to add a couple of industries that are changing how they share … the first is going to be media. Movies, books, TV shows.” Next are lifestyle apps like exercise, food, fashion. “Today we are making it possible to build an entirely new class of apps and change industries like they have never changed before.”
10:57 — Zuckerberg talking about how to add apps with a “frictionless experience.” Using how they integrated Spotify.
10:58 — “It is amazing how much music you can discover through your friends. Either in the news feed or in the Ticker. You can discover a lot of new stuff that way.” Zuckerberg calls it “realtime serendipity.”
11:02 — Zuckerberg showing off the realtime sharing by listening to Jay-Z and a short Nirvana clip. I am not sure if that is really a killer new feature but it is interesting.
11:04 — “I really like what these music companies are doing with the open graph … they are using it not to just rethink music, but the entire music industry.”
Bringing up Daniel Ek, CEO of Spotify, to talk about what they are doing with the open graph.
11:06 — Here is a shot of the Ticker.
11:08 — “Here is what we know from our millions of users across the world … because our [playlists] are social, they are more engaged. And because they are engaged, they are more than twice as likely to pay for music,” Ek said. “Let’s light up the world of music.”
11:09 — Open graph isn’t just about music. But TV shows and movies. Here is the first reference to Hulu. Not surprising that we have first heard from Spotify and then Hulu. This does not look to be anything newer than the Facebook/Hulu partnership we covered this summer.
11:11 — Looks like Timeline is going to permeate all the media updates as well. You can aggregate a video timeline along with music or pictures. “You can discover an order of magnitude more content than before.”
Here comes Reed Hastings from Netflx.
11:13 — There is an interesting comparison here. “Watching content because my friend did really trumped the algorithm,” Hastings said of how Netflix approached discoverability.
11:15 — Hastings talking about the privacy bill that is going through Congress that will allow Facebook and Netflix to share viewing information in the U.S. It is the only country that Netflix is in (45 in all) that cannot integrate Facebook as of yet.
11:17 — Here is the “Read” part of “Read, Watch, Listen.” Apparently we are going backwards. This is social news apps built with the social graph. Looks like it can be on both the Facebook Ticker and profile along with within publishers themselves.
11:19 — On to social games. This, of course, will be in the Ticker as well. “Every piece of content in the social graph has a picture associated with it.” Show Words With Friends and what words a friend is playing at the time. That is very interesting, like realtime gaming voyeurism.
11:21 — The next round is the “lifestyle apps.” Zuckerberg using the example of Nike+ with GPS that can get tied into the Timeline. Also integrating with Foodspotting. “We have worked with dozens and dozens of other partners to build social apps to discover new apps and share them with your friends.”
Thanks all the developers. He may be winding down here.
11:22 — A ReadWriteWeb staffer just noted: “Basically Zuckerberg has created the socially aware version of what used to be an algorithmically led experience.”
11:25 — Zuckerberg brings up Bret Taylor, Facebook’s chief technology officer, to show how the new apps on the open graph are created.
11:28 — “Open graph is really the biggest opportunity to create new apps since we started apps on Facebook,” Taylor said. Going into how to create these new social apps. Three main points:
- Simple user experience
- Simple developer experience
- Engaging Apps
11:30 — Taylor using I Heart Radio as a “social radio service … they are not asking permission to be social, it is a feature of the app.”
11:32 — “The first step with integrating your app with the open graph is figuring out what aspect of your app you want to be social,” Taylor said. He said that it is extremely easy to put into an app by just putting in “add to Timeline.”
11:35 — “We are launching six different layouts today and a pretty flexible query outline,” Taylor said about how Timeline will be laid out. Last piece is “Add to Timeline” button.
11:37 — App discoverability is a problem. “If people like it, their friends should see it. You do not need any tricks or gimmicks,” Taylor said.
11:38 — Hence, here comes “Graph Rank.” It is a personalized view of you and your friends interest. The higher the score in a users open graph, the more likely there friends will see that app.
11:40 — Taylor bringing up Chris Cox, director of product at Facebook, to talk about the philosophy of Timeline.
11:42 — This is interesting. Cox talking about “data as a narrative.” The way we process and visualize information. “It is not just topics. There is nothing we love to summarize more than time itself.”
Note: Yes, we love to summarize the year in review. See the 2010 ReadWriteWeb Year In Review.
11:44 — So instead of news, Cox is talking about how Facebook could do a “year in review” for a single person.
11:47 — Cox is talking about Feltron.com and how he tells his life in the information age through data. Comparing it to art. “We have to try and hire this guy … we have to get him from Brooklyn to help us with this problem.”
11:50 — “What is the modern process for the timeless process of scrap booking,” Cox said. “It all starts with all of your stuff in one box.” This is about creating the Timeline and how it came together. “The amazing thing is when you switch from the current profile to the Timeline is how much you forgot was there.”
11:56 — Zuckerberg finishes with an anecdote about Intel and Moore’s Law. Timeline beta rolls out today. That is the end of the keynote. Thank you for reading.