The rumour mills are working in overdrive at the moment as the powers that be at Facebook have made it clear they’ll be making a big announcement at the f8 developers conference later this week. So what can we expect and will it be worth the build-up? In my experience, Facebook regularly make a huge deal about any pending announcements or changes and they rarely live up to the hype that surrounds them.
It’s no secret that Facebook have been paddling frantically beneath the surface since the introduction of Google +, making new changes every week to the user interface and promising the earth, moon and stars to its loyal user base in the hope that there won’t be a mass exodus to the other side. So let’s check out the rumours and I’ll let you make up your own minds about whether they really warrant such a media circus.
The introduction of ‘Read’, ‘Listened’, ‘Watched’ and ‘Want’ buttons.
This function, whilst not all that useful to regular Facebook users, is most likely going to be very helpful for facebook ads campaigns. An advertisers dream really. Picture this, someone posts a link to lets say an iPad, because they’ve just invested in one, friends will like the link, share the link and most of all ‘want’ the link. By clicking the ‘wanted’ button they have just become part of a target market for Apple. This goes for the other three options aswell, chances are if someone has clicked the ‘read’,‘listened’ or ‘watched’ button, then they will be interested in learning more about that movie, piece of music,book, podcast etc and will become the target market for any further campaigns, sequels or new releases. Clever, yes. Useful for everyday users? Not necessarily.
I’m thinking the introduction of a ‘dislike’ button may be a more useful addition, it’s something users have been calling out for, for a long time and would at least let them know they are being listened to.
Without doubt, Social Media Marketing is big business and is well on it’s way to changing the way SEO works forever, but does this come at the expense of the user?
Aggressive Marketing like this, can alienate people and turn what should be an enjoyable experience into a spam laden journey through hell. Facebook need to ensure that they’re not cutting off their nose to spite their face. What good are ad campaigns if there’s no one left to market to?
There has also been rumours that Facebook will be introducing some type of music feature for users similar to itunes, which I reckon is a winner all the way. I know there are Facebook Apps out there already which allow you to play music, however something that is already integrated with Facebook would be right kick in the teeth for iTunes and Apple. Speculation is also rising around rumours that Facebook may have formed partnerships with unnamed TV and Film Giants to further enhance the users’ experience.
All in all it sounds like Facebook is trying to be a one stop shop. I’m just waiting for them to release a kindle type app and a book store and then they’ll pretty much have the entire Internet market sewn up.
So keep the eyes and ears open on the 22nd for Zuckerbergs big announcement. It better be good!