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Facebook suggests sharing everything all the time

Your life as a 'product'

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Mark Zuckerberg says new features on Facebook will allow the sharing of everything automatically and give people access to your entire life history.

Speaking at the keynote of the F8 developers conference in San Francisco Zuckerberg said that applications will become more social – a polite way of saying they’re posting everything you do on Facebook. Pop-up windows asking you to share something are a thing of the past, Zuck promised, since the application can be configured to do this automatically with the updated Open Graph tool.

“Open Graph is the biggest change to our platform,” Bret Taylor, chief technical officer at Facebook told the crowd.

Once you click on yes then everything you do can be shared, which Facebook is describing as “frictionless experiences”. News Corporation and Yahoo News have also signed up to the system, so that they can share every article someone reads online and identify who is reading the same copy. Games companies are also being touted as big users by letting others know when you’re playing online. El Reg suspects this spells the end of intra-workplace friendships with the boss on Facebook.

Not all of this activity will appear on a user’s news feed, however – the volume of data something like this would spam out news people actually want to post – but will instead be displayed on a ticker to express “lightweight activities,” Zuck said. However, if the algorithms at Facebook find patterns of behavior, then your news feed gets an update.

Taylor said this kind of sharing would be a boon to developers creating applications, since the more people who use and share it the more publicity it will receive. Application success will depend on people broadcasting that they are using it.

This may be good for people who want to follow everything their friends do, but it’s also a direct marketers dream. From an advertising standpoint this information will be golden, and application vendors will be keen to get in on the game to help monetize their products. The potential hurdle is getting people to share that much data.

The range of things to post has also changed. Users don’t just get to like something; they can use a range of verbs to describe what they are doing, such as read, watch or hike. All of this is about building information to go on the second new feature Zuckerberg announced – the Facebook timeline – which will be rolled out over the next few months.

The timeline covers the content of a user’s news feed over their entire life, right back to birth. Users can choose what features to highlight on the timeline, and it can be filtered into photos, videos and other types of content. The goal Zuck said was to make the user’s profile more informative.

“With timeline we didn’t want to design a place to put all your stories and applications, want it to be like your home,” Zuckerberg opined.

“We wanted to make timeline a place you’re proud to call your home.” ®

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