by Kristin Burnham

Recap: Facebook’s Biggest F8 Announcements

Sep 22, 20113 mins
FacebookSocial Networking Apps

After weeks of hype and speculation, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg unveiled a new profile design called Timeline, a new class of Facebook apps and some pretty cool media integration. Here's a run-through of Thursday's announcements from F8.


Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg capped off a busy week of changes at Thursday’s F8 developer conference, unveiling a new profile design it calls Timeline, as well as a slew of other new features, including a new version of its Open Graph and media sharing, that are all set to launch in the coming weeks.

Zuckerberg set the stage for the keynote address by recounting how the last several years at Facebook were about creating your network and cultivating your connections. “The next era,” Zuckerberg said, “will be defined by the apps and the depths of engagement that are possible.”

Here’s a recap of the key moments and announcements from today’s F8 conference.

[Everybody Hates Facebook, a Pictorial]

1. Facebook’s Timeline is a digital scrapbook of your life. One of the most significant announcements from F8 was the new Facebook Profile redesign, which it’s calling “Timeline.”

The problem with the old profiles, Zuckerberg said, was that your most recent activity dropped off the page after a few days, and there was no easy way to resurface it. With the new profile, stories you’ve shared in the past are aggregated and searchable via this new Timeline feature. Check out the video below for more on how it works.

Facebook got it right with the design of Timeline; it’s clean, modern, customizable and different from anything you’ve seen before on the site. One compelling Timeline feature: Users can search as far back as their birth date and fill their Timeline in with pictures and important events, essentially creating a digital autobiography.

2. A new kind of app. Also front and center at F8 was the emphasis on a new class of social apps that “let you express who you are through all the things you do,” according to Facebook. For example, rather than “liking” something as you traditionally would on Facebook, you’ll be able to show the things you like to do, right on your timeline.


A few of these “lifestyle” apps that Zuckerberg showed were the Nike+ GPS app, which lets you share how far you’ve run and where, and the Foodspotting app, which shares what you are cooking or eating.

3. Big-name partnerships. Daniel Ek, CEO of Spotify, and Reed Hastings, CEO of Netflix, also took the stage at today’s conference to discuss the work they’ve done with Facebook in launching the new Open Graph and to announce the integration of their apps.

The Spotify app, Ek said, will let users to see what songs and albums their friends are listening to in real time. This activity will appear in Facebook’s new Ticker, announced yesterday, and users can then choose to listen in on the same song, all from within Facebook.

Similarly, Hastings announced Netflix integration in which every movie you watch appears in your Ticker. This will let you follow what your friends are watching in real time, then click to view the movies or TV shows they’re watching, simultaneously within Facebook.

In a strange addendum to his announcement, Hastings said that this feature is already integrated in 44 of 45 countries. The one exception—the United States, where an old bill has forbidden the disclosure of one’s video rental information.

Spotify and Netflix weren’t the only media companies partnering with Facebook. Among the others on the list were Rhapsody, iHeartRadio and Hulu.