Facebook Unveils 60 New Timeline Apps

NEW YORK | Thursday, January 19th, 2012 4:41am EDT

Facebook has added a series of new applications to let users share such things as photos, travel or fashion.

Facebook launches 60 new applications for Timeline profiles 01

Ticketmaster unveils its Facebook "Timeline App" at the Facebook launch event at 25 Lusk restaurant in San Francisco, California January 18, 2012. Photo: Siarhei Karotki/TheBlogIsMine

In a press event in San Francisco, Facebook Director of Platform Products Carl Sjogreen announced further extension of the Open Graph, which will now allow developers to build a variety of apps that let users add anything they want directly to their timelines.

Facebook launched the platform last September and its 800 million members are already familiar with how they or their friends can instantly share songs they’re listening to on Spotify or news stories they’re reading through the Washington Post, San Francisco Chronicle reports.

Users can already share the music they are listening to or news articles they are reading. But this latest development expands the number of apps significantly, according to BBC.

Facebook announced it had opened up the next stage of the Open Graph system to include 60 new third-party companies that have developed apps for Timeline, including eBay, TicketMaster, Foodspotting, Rotten Tomatoes, StubHub, Airbnb, Gogobot and Pinterest.

Timeline is a feature that Facebook says can turn users’ personal profiles into virtual scrapbooks.

It can over the years catalogue aspects of the user’s life and preferences, from travel to favourite books.

Facebook’s idea with all this is to take things that were once part of our “offline” lives–like travel planning, cooking and music listening–and make them online, public and trackable–to the extent that the user’s privacy settings allow.

Facebook has wisely given users control over who can see their app activities, PC World reports.

According to Forbes, Facebook has expanded that to any type of app that wants to publish to Facebook. The “verbs” or actions that you could see could be “read,” “tried,” “want,” “rated” or “nom.”

A picture of a cheeseburger taken through the Foodspotting app displays as a free-standing update. The “Recent Activity” box in the user’s Timeline reports that the picture was posted.

The new apps also make it easy for Facebook friends to share tastes and discoveries.

You may see in the ticker on Facebook that one of your friends is cooking something interesting from a recipe in Foodily; if you also have the Foodily app you can just click on the ticker item and you are connected to the recipe.

“We always said you are more than just your status updates and photos,” said Facebook spokesman David Swain.

“This is going to be the biggest catalyst for pushing social commerce,” said Payvment Inc. CEO and founder Christian Taylor. “This is really going to turbo charge product discovery on Facebook. It’s going to do for shopping what Spotify has done for music.”

The company, tipped for a $100bn initial public offering, is looking for new ways to get people to spend more time on the site – which will attract more advertising.

Once installed, these apps will post information automatically to Facebook when actions are taken. Settings are available when you install the app that are supposed to explain exactly what is being shared and how.

“People are in total control of what apps they install and how they share that information,” says Carl Sjogreen of Facebook.

You can see the new posts in the “News Ticker”–the scrolling list of actions on the top right of the Facebook home screen. If people comment on the actions they could become a bigger “story” and appear more prominently in the main News Feed

Taylor’s Palo Alto company has an online shopping mall on Facebook and has already added “I Want This” and “I Own This” buttons.”

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