Facebook apps accelerate sharing

2012-01-19 12:08
San Francisco - Social media giant Facebook released dozens of new applications to let users catalogue every aspect of their lives, from movies to books to food to fashion, and share them with friends.

"Whatever you love, whatever story it is you want to tell, you can add that to your timeline," said Carl Sjogreen, director of platform products for Facebook.

The initial batch of some 60 "apps" included contributions from companies such as Foodspotting, Rotten Tomatoes, Pinterest, TripAdvisor and e-reader Kobo.

The handful of companies present at the rollout event in San Francisco pitched their apps as a way to allow users to more fully integrate their social experiences outside of Facebook into their social networking profile.

Someone reading an e-book from Kobo, for example, could highlight passages they want to share with Facebook friends. The app also will automatically track which books they have finished or started reading and connect them with other Facebook users reading the same books.

User control

Richard Penner of Kobo said the company views books as a social experience and believes that is what its customers want too. "We believe users want to engage with each other," he said.

It was a theme echoed by almost all developers who gathered in a chic, softly lit downtown lounge to show off their apps: It's no longer enough to simply allow users to "like" a book or a pair of jeans; an entire social experience should be created around everyday habits.

With the app from Foodspotting, food connoisseurs can easily share their love of a particularly delicious cheeseburger or just let friends know they tried an avocado roll at a new sushi place everyone is talking about.

"It gives extra context to friends," said Foodspotting spokesperson Fiona Tang.

Developers were quick to emphasise user control over which actions appear on Facebook - an issue that has prompted concern among some privacy rights advocates since the apps were first announced in 2011.

Users initially must give each individual app permission to track their cheeseburger and romance novel habits. After that, their actions are automatically - or "frictionlessly", as Facebook likes to say - fed back to Facebook.

In some cases, the actions by users also appear on outside websites to show friends which movies they watched or which articles they read on a site.


Bryan Estrada of Rotten Tomatoes said users receive reminders when they perform actions - like rating a movie - that are recorded onto their Facebook tickers for the world to see.

Users can then choose to delete the action from Facebook if, for example, they would rather not share their love of Twilight vampire movies.

The app provides "another level of engagement" for Rotten Tomatoes users, Estrada said. "It's pretty exciting."

Ben Silbermann, chief executive officer and co-founder of Pinterest, a site that allows users to create organised collections of virtually any information, said users can easily keep their collections of Star Wars memorabilia private if they want.

His wife used the site to plan their wedding, he said, and "might not have wanted everyone to see the bridesmaid dresses".

Over time, the apps will track almost any aspect of life users prefer - from cappuccinos to world travels - and catalogue them into the Facebook "Timeline", a new feature that essentially turns a personal profile into a virtual scrapbook.

With Timeline, Facebook users can easily scroll through years of events to see where a friend spent spring break in 2005, for example, or if they ever uploaded photos from a study-abroad semester in Paris.

Sjogreen of Facebook said that in addition to the roughly 60 apps released on Wednesday evening, the company plans to approve more apps from developers that want to integrate with the social media giant.

"This is just the tip of the iceberg," Sjogreen said.
Read more on:    facebook  |  social networks

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

linking and moving

2015-04-22 07:36

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.