Yesterday's Facebook changes are nothin' compared to what Mark Zuckerberg has in store for all of us in the coming weeks. At the f8 conference this afternoon, the Facebook founder presented what can only be described as the next era of Facebook. We're not talking little tweaks, people. What went down yesterday and flipped us all out is NOTHING compared to the overhaul we're about to experience. And I'm legitimately concerned.
Yeah, it's a big joke and even a "some e-card" is making fun of us for getting all up in arms about changes to a free service that we have no obligation to use. But one could make the argument that we're increasingly required to use it to stay engaged socially, and now, with these new changes, I have a feeling it will be even harder to avoid it. Make no mistake: Facebook's goal is to become "THE social layer that supports, powers, and connects every single piece of the web, no matter who or what it is or where it lives." Hello, Big Brother!
Basically, Facebook plans to be the filter through which you do anything and everything online. And that includes all the online/app stuff you do on your smartphone, as well. Because Facebook has always been about "sharing," that's what they're hoping we'll do with everything we do online.
It's not enough for us to simply "like" bands anymore. Now, Spotify is going to be an app built into Facebook, so we can share what songs we're listening to in real-time, in our Ticker, and then our friends can click in and start listening to the same track. It's not enough to simply "like" a movie. Now, Netflix will be integrated into Facebook, so if you watch a movie, it will show up in your profile, and your friends can click it and watch it, too.
There will also be a bazillion new apps for all different things you do and buy and interact with online -- from Nike's running app to cooking apps and Ticketmaster -- and it is blatantly clear that Facebook and its corporate partners behind these apps want to be the tastemakers. They want us to follow them, to look to them for what to buy/play/listen to, not the other way around. But we won't know we're being brainwashed to do what they want, because we'll just think we're "sharing" with our "friends"!
Welcome to the next frontier ... the uber-commercialization of social networking!
Behind these new glossy, shiny developments, it feels like the hidden goal is to turn us into Stepford people -- listening to a track because our friend listened to it, or cooking up a recipe with Swiss chard, keeping track of our workouts via Nike, because a friend did.
All of this new "sharing" will live on our re-imagined profiles, which Zuck is calling "Timeline." It's an extremely visual new profile/wall that looks like a collage of all of your apps and it's supposed to tell the "story of you." It's your biography dating all the way back to your birth ... or when you joined Facebook. And Facebook will automatically determine the events in your life it finds most important. Sure, you can tweak this, but it really does seem as though Facebook will be directing the show. It's like The Truman Show ... but you're the star. And they think we're gonna love it. But I'm not so sure.
Here's the video of how they see life with the new Facebook ...
What do you think of the forthcoming Facebook changes -- creepy or cool?
Image via Jolie O'Dell/Flickr