f8: Social Apps, Timeline Introduced On Facebook

At f8, Facebook revealed that "Over 500 million people engage with Facebook across more than 7 million apps and websites every month." The company also introduced the next evolution of Facebook Platform and Open Graph.The Open Graph Beta is now available to all Facebook developers. This beta gives you access to the docs and tools […]

At f8, Facebook revealed that "Over 500 million people engage with Facebook across more than 7 million apps and websites every month." The company also introduced the next evolution of Facebook Platform and Open Graph.

The Open Graph Beta is now available to all Facebook developers. This beta gives you access to the docs and tools you need to add Open Graph actions and objects to your app.

Since the beginning of Facebook, profile has been the place where people tell their story. People use it to share everything from the small stuff, like their thoughts on an article, to the most important events of their lives, like the photos of their wedding or the birth of their child.

Facebook at f8, launched "Timeline," a new kind of profile/home for all the great stories you've already shared. "Timeline is wider than your old profile, and it's a lot more visual. The first thing you'll notice is the giant photo right at the top. This is your cover, and it's completely up to you which of your photos you put here," informed Facebook.

"As you scroll down past your cover, you'll see your posts, photos and life events as they happened in time. You choose what's featured on your timeline. You can star your favorites to double their size or hide things altogether."

See how to enbable Timeline under this post.


Filling in the blanks: "If for some reason some important parts of your story aren't included on your timeline, you can go back to when they happened and add them. Or go to your private activity log. This is where you'll find everything you shared since you joined Facebook. Click on any post to feature it on your timeline so your friends can see it, too," Facebook explained.

Also, launched today, is a "social app" that lets you show the things you like to do on your timeline - the music you listen to, the recipes you try, the runs you take and more. These apps also help you discover what your friends are up to. You can even join in if you want: play the song they're listening to, or watch the same TV show.

"You can start adding some of these new apps today, but timeline won't be available for a few weeks. When you get your timeline, you can choose to publish it immediately or take a few days to review what's there and add anything that's missing," added Facebook.

App Discovery through friends: As people add apps to their Timeline, friends will be able to easily discover and connect to your app in just a few clicks, as they see it on not only each other's Timelines, but in News Feed, or the newly launched Ticker.

Distribution through News Feed, Ticker, and Timeline will be "based on Graph Rank, the underlying system that manages discovery of Open Graph activity around Facebook. Graph Rank is designed to give more prominence to engaging activity. The transparency of the system should enable you to predictably measure your app's performance.

Graph Rank is also personalized. Graph Rank isn't a global score, but a personalized view of you and your friends' tastes," Facebook explains.

New analytics
From the Dev App, you'll be "able to see analytics for all the Open Graph activity published by your app. You will be able to optimize your app's Graph Rank based on this information."

Any app can be social
"As the Open Graph opens up Platform to more categories and verticals, many more types of apps will be successful on Facebook because Open Graph isn't just about sharing - it's about self-expression and serendipity. Whether you have a Website, App on Facebook or Mobile app, you can make it Open Graph-enabled so users can see their activity on Timeline," explains Facebook.

New Opportunities

We are excited about the sites launching later today with Open Graph apps. Learn more about these sites on the Platform Showcase.

Here are a couple of videos demonstrating the newly launched features:

Timeline

Social App

Here is how to enbable Facebook Timeline:

Install "Developer" app by just typing "developer" in the search field. Then, click on the first app (see the picture below.) Once you click on the app, it will automatically take you to the developer portal.

  1. Create a new app
    You'll also have to enter a CAPTCHA to verify that you're a real person.

  2. Name your app

  3. Enable Open Graph

  4. Name your Open Action

  5. Return to your user profile
    Once you return to your profile, you should have the prompt asking if you'd like to enable the new Timeline interface and make it public before it actually launches publicly.

The whole process takes less than five minutes. Here's what you need to do:

Step 1: Search for the Facebook Developer App. The top result will be the official app, as shown below.

Facebook Timeline setup step 1

Step 2: Grant access to the permisions that the developer app requests. Click Allow.

Facebook Timeline setup step 2

Step 3: Create an app. Click the '+create an app' buton as shown below.

Facebook Timeline setup step 3

Step 4: To get your new app off the ground you have to give it a name (display name) and also give it a namespace (like hosting). These can be changed later, so all you need to do is come up with any old name. You could use your own name, or even a jumble of letters. Either way, probably best to make it memorable.

Once you have done this click continue. If you have not verified your Facebook account using your phone number or credit/debit card, then a dialog box will appear requesting you to verify your account. The phone verification method works instantly, so I would recommend using that.

Facebook Timeline setup step 4

Step 5: Simply click save changes one

Facebook Timeline setup step 5

Step 6:

Facebook Timeline setup step 6

Step 7:

Facebook Timeline setup step 7

Once you have clicked "Save & Finish" you will be taken to the page below. From this point on there is nothing more to do within the Developer console, so you can close it.

Facebook Timeline setup step 8

Step 9:

Activate the New Facebook Timeline Profile Page

Step 10:

Facebook Timeline setup step 9

Choose a 'Cover Photo' and...you can now see your Facebook Profile in the Timeline Design.

New Facebook Timeline Profile