Changes, they are coming!
Unless you’ve been hibernating in a cave without any internet connection, you’re probably aware that Facebook announced some major changes at the recent f8 Conference. If you want a quick summary of the new features, here’s a link to a Mashable post, it even has a link to the f8 conference video if you’re really keen!
One of the changes that I suspect will generate a lot of discussion is the new Timeline. If you’re a regular reader of my posts, you’ll know that I’m an aspiring geek, I love technology and I’m an early adopter – OK I’m attracted to Bright Shiny Objects (BSOs). This means, I couldn’t resist having an early look at what these changes are about. If you can’t wait until the 1st October when the changes start rolling out, then you can have an early peek by following these instructions by Techie Buzz.
I’m not going to go into the details of what’s on the Timeline because you can read about that in plenty of other places. Mari Smith, the Facebook fountain of knowledge, is holding a free webinar explaining all of the changes on Friday 30th (very early Saturday morning in Australia). You can register here – a recording will be provided.
My life exposed
My first impression was WOW! Facebook knows a lot of stuff about me and it’s all right there in the open for all to see. I felt a bit exposed. The thing is that all of this information was already available to anyone who cared to go searching for it. The difference is Open Graph Protocol, which I won’t even pretend to understand, now exposes all of this information, rather than it being hidden away.
Once I got over the initial shock of seeing my life exposed, I had a play around with it and I’ve decided that I like it, a lot. It provides a kind of visual history of my social activities online and offline and it’s a fun way to remember.
It’s not only what I expose, but what others expose about me
I’ve already seen a lot of comments and have received a few requests from Facebook friends to change settings so that their information is not shared. Of course I’ve done as they requested because I think the decision about what we share online (and offline) is a personal one.
I’ve also seen some very strong posts about the changes and particularly about the privacy issues. Some people feel that these latest changes are a step too far, particularly because some applications (e.g. Spotify) will no longer allow you to sign up unless you do so with your Facebook login. Why would they do that?
Open Graph, allows sites and apps to publish your activity to Facebook, similar to the way the “like” button does but it also allows sites and apps to publish your activity in the new Ticker which means that all of your friends will be able to see what you’ve been up to – whether you want to share that or not!
I’m fairly relaxed about all of that, perhaps too relaxed. I don’t have anything to hide. I can’t imagine anyone being interested enough in what I’m doing that they’d bother to sit and watch the Ticker for information about my comings and goings.
I don’t know whether the changes are something to be truly concerned about or whether it’s just another change that will fill the Ticker and give people something to be upset about. As with all things, time will tell. My bet is that, as with all of the other changes Facebook have made over the years, the majority of the 800+ million Facebook users will continue to share and will now share even more – whether we intend it or not.
What does it mean for business pages?
My understanding is that the changes will only affect personal profiles for the time being but according to Mashable, Facebook have indicated that they will make Pages consistent with Timeline in the near future.
The more immediate issue facing owners of Facebook Pages is the requirement for apps to migrate to OAuth 2.0 by 1 October – wonder if there’s a reason they chose that date? I said I’m an aspiring geek which means I don’t really understand all of the details behind this but what I do know is that as of 1 October, if you have used a developer to create say a Welcome Tab or use any other apps to create tabs on your Page, then they need to have an SSL Certificate or the App will be disabled! If you’re uncertain, check with the developer or visit the app page and ask whether their app will be compliant. If not, find one that is!
What do you think?
Has Facebook gone too far?
Will you be more vigilant about what you sign-up for?
Is Facebook selling out by mining data and giving businesses and advertisers access to our information?
Have you read any great posts about the changes?
Are you already using Timeline? What do you think?