The Web Is Changing And Facebook Leads It
Yesterday F8 was a great example of why for the past few years Facebook (and Mark) is one of the companies I highly admire. It’s not because of their size and success. It’s because that even with their size and success they still have the courage to dramatically change their product again and again. They have a vision of where the world is going to and they go after it without looking back.
The past week ,together with yesterday announcements will make Facebook an all new experience than we are used to. Timeline is amazing user experience and the thing that got most of the attention. But the most important announcement was the automatic publishing from apps.
I’m sure that in the next few weeks we will read about users uproar against this change. Hell, even to me this seems a bit creepy and hard to swallow. But like many other changes they brought in the past, I will bet that also this time, one after another, we will all get used to it and then hooked to it. In a year we won’t understand how we did things before that.
Facebook bets on what they said for years: Most of us don’t really have much to hide. Our basic human need to share and social with others is stronger than our need for privacy. If you thought that people knew much about you until now, wait until this new auto publishing will become mainstream.
From the developer perspective, this brings up an all new world of possibilities. Auto sharing of media, location, events. Suddenly everything is social. Everything can be discussed in near real time. Maybe more important, more sharing means much better opportunity to be discovered by other users – the lifeblood of any startup. For Facebook these new changes also put structure around the data. Structure that allows for much better understanding of our actions and interests, which of course translates to better targeted advertising.
One interesting thing to note is the fundamental shift in Facebook strategy. With Facebook connect and the like button, they basically brought the platform out to the all web. Now they are doing the opposite. Click on a Hulu video or a Spotify song and interact with the media inside of Facebook. If this will catch on, Facebook will become its own “mini Internet”. Understanding the new graph rank (and how to manipulate it) might become more important than ranking in Google search results and SEO.
It’s been years since we saw so many fundamental changes to the web and how we interact with it. From Google+, to new mobile devices and now the Facebook changes. The way we will interact with the world and people around us will be very different two years from now. This is an incredible opportunity for entrepreneurs and startups and I’m super excited to be in the middle of it.