Let’s Get A Few Things StraightPosted: February 22, 2012
All this talk about Facebook, Apps, Open Graph, and Timeline, has my head spinning. Let’s pause for a moment to get some much-needed clarification.
Earlier this year Facebook debuted about 60 Timeline apps. Today, there are 84 timeline apps available. These apps are broken down into 9 categories: Entertainment (18), Fitness (2), Food (5), Giving (3), Music (12), News (17), Shopping and Fashion (12), Travel (5), and Other (10).
What is the difference between a Timeline app and a regular Facebook app?
Well, simply put, Timeline apps publish Actions to your profile. Timeline apps are “meant for the activities you want to share with friends.” Other applications may be considered social, but they do not publish information about you to your profile. Both Timeline apps and regular apps on Facebook can use Open Graph.
Since Facebook is making a permanent transition to Timeline, will that make all apps Timeline apps?
Yes, no, and maybe. Not every app will post Actions to your Timeline. But, Facebook does want apps to take a more prominent role in your profile. Apps were originally used to access content. The next generation of Facebook apps are meant to reflect what you do in the real world: what you eat, buy, exercise, cook, listen to, etc. Basically, Facebook wants your Timeline to be a convergence of your “real” and “digital” lives.
What are the advantages for a company to use a Timeline app?
Facebook is already publishing success stories about Timeline apps. Content discovery, increased website traffic, time spent on site, new users, and overall “engagement” are areas where companies have seen benefits. 50% of eCommerce site visitors are loged into Facebook so there is a lot of potential for companies who want to increase online sales.
Zukerberg’s “frictionless sharing” business model means “permissionless sharing.” Since users will have to opt-out rather than opt-in, markets, and your friends, will now have access to vast amounts of data they would not have had before.
What’s up with the ticker on the right-hand-side of home page?
When you use games and apps, the ticker on the right-hand column shows your friends’ app activity in real time. The ticker may include Sponsored Stories that may or may not be about games.