F8 updates: Mark Zuckerberg announces 'Timeline'
Big changes are coming to Facebook. What do those changes entail? We don’t know (though, like everyone, we have our suspicions). But we will know… soon. At 1 p.m. EST/10 PST, Mark Zuckerberg will deliver the keynote presentation of this year’s f8 conference. Expect news of partnerships, potentially including new Facebook Music and Facebook video-related deals. Watch the live-stream of the keynote starting at 1 p.m. EST/10 PST here. We’ll update this post as the revelations arrive.
UPDATE: Big announcements from the Keynote speech include partnerships with Netflix, Hulu, Spotify, and Rhapsody, plus a complete rethink of the Facebook Profile in a new aesthetic called “Timeline.” One twist: The Netflix/Facebook integration is not currently allowed in the United States… because it’s not legal. Yet.
1:16 — Andy Samberg is onstage pretending to be Mark Zuckerberg. He just made a Glee joke and a MySpace joke. This is how you know that you’re not watching an Apple event.
1:21 — The real Mark Zuckerberg just walked onstage and is laughing harder at the whole Samberg/Zuckerberg thing than anyone else. Hey, as far as crazy things for rich people to spend money on, it’s better than buying a private island and hunting people for sport.
1:23 — Andy Samberg/Fake-Zuckerberg is now doing Andy Samberg’s Mark Wahlberg impression. A wormhole is forming onstage.
1:24 — Zuckerberg: “Just last week, we had a pretty cool milestone at Facebook. For the first time ever, in a single day, we had half a billion people use Facebook.”
1:30 — Zuckerberg just announced an evolutionary leap forward for the Facebook Profile. “We’re calling it Timeline.” He claims it’s the next step from the Live-Stream. “Timeline is the story of your life.” He splits it into three things: “1) All your stories, 2) All your apps, 3) A new way to express who you are.”
1:31 — It appears to be a complete redesign. It look a little bit like msn.com. Anyone who has ever complained that navigating Facebook has become a confusing orgy of boxes will not be happy about this. It’s ambitious, certainly.
1:33 — Basically, Facebook Timeline basically rescues everything you have ever posted from the depths of your wall. You can feasibly scroll all the way down to a photo you added from 2007 very quickly.
1:34 — Zuckerberg: “It’s your whole life…it’s so simple.”
1:37 — Basically, Facebook Timeline is The Tree of Life without the dinosaurs.
1:39 — Zuckerberg is presenting all these changes by showing his own profile, which adds a nice personal touch, but also means this presentation could easily be titled “Mark Zuckerberg: My Awesome Life.” Bison burgers!
1:42 — “Timeline is a completely new aesthetic for Facebook.” It’s true — this is the most complete, least subtle redesign that Facebook has ever done.
1:44 — This has suddenly become a first-level videogame tutorial. Mind you, it’s a fascinating first-level videogame tutorial. “Hover over the gray dot,” says the man who changed how humanity interacts forever.
1:46 — Now showing a video about Timeline that shows one person’s entire life. It’s nice, but kind of feels like a weird attempt to one-up the famous “Parisian Wedding” Google commercial.
1:49 — “We’re gonna make it so you can connect to anything you want in any way you want.” Zuckerberg is announcing an evolution of the “Like” function. You no longer have to “Like” a movie — now, you can just “watch” a movie. Naturally, you still can’t “hate” a movie, but no reason to be negative when there’s advertising dollars on the line.
1:50 — I stand corrected. Zuckerberg claims to have added in “verbs.” Maybe you can “hate” something on Facebook. Intriguing.
1:54 — New Open Graph: “Frictionless experiences, realtime serendipity, and finding patterns.”
1:55 — “Frictionless experiences” means that, while you’re playing a game or using an app, you may never have to see one of those annoying “share this with your friends” pop-ups again.
1:57 — Spotify shout-out!
1:58 — If one of your friends is listening to a song on Spotify, you can click on a button and also listen to it. Assuming you already have Spotify. Interesting.
1:59 — Zuckerberg is talking a lot about patterns. I recommend rereading William Gibson’s Pattern Recognition.
2:00 — Zuckerberg just admitted to being a big Green Day fan. Unclear if he prefers them pre- or post-American Idiot reinvention.
2:01 — The Spotify integration seems to be pretty smooth. Waiting for news of other partnerships.
2:04 — Zuckerberg just invited Spotify’s CEO, Daniel Ek, onstage. They shared a bro-hug.
2:06 — Ek is describing the Spotify integration as the digital version of looking through a friend’s record collection.
2:08 — Zuckerberg’s back! “But it’s not just Spotify here…” The new music experience includes VEVO, Rhapsody, Turntable, Songza, Mog, and other companies I wasn’t interested enough to mark down.
2:09 — Now, onto television! Hulu has built a new canvas app for Facebook where, if your friend is watching Glee, you can watch along with them. Or you can ask your friend why they are still watching Glee when the show clearly peaked about two years ago. The point is, you’ll know they’re watching.
2:10 — And Netflix is here, too! The gang’s all here. Pause to imagine the Kings of Silicon Valley hanging out at a backyard pool party having a vegan BBQ and challenging each other to million-dollar games of MarioKart.
2:12 — Reed Hastings is onstage. That’s pretty brave. The Netflix CEO is not exactly Mr. Popular right now.
2:13 — The Netflix deal is basically this: If your friend is watching Breaking Bad, you will see that in your news feed. You can click on it. And you can watch it via Netflix.
2:14 — Twist! The Netflix-Facebook integration is available in 44 out of 45 countries. It is not currently available in the US because of a pesky privacy law that the government is apparently debating today. Netflix: Incapable of catching a break.
2:15 — Other non-Netflix partners include: IMDB, Flixster, DailyMotion, Blockbuster, and many other companies I didn’t catch because I was still reeling from the fact that the Netflix integration is not available in the United F—ing States.
2:17 — Zuckerberg is talking about social news apps. Huffington Post, Vice, USA Today, The Telegraph, The Economist, The Daily Mirror…lots of big, British names.
2:20 — The last category of apps that Zuckerberg is talking about: Social Apps.
2:21 — Another entry in the “Mark Zuckerberg: My Life is Awesome” sub-speech: Zuckerberg is showing off how much he jogged last month. Thanks, Nike running app!
2:23 — “We have the Open Graph. It’s a completely new class of Social Apps to discover new things through your friends with frictionless experiences, realtime serendipity, and finding patterns.” In conclusion.
2:23 — The video Facebook made of all these new apps is basically the new CBS series Person of Interest, with Zuckerberg in the Ben Linus role. The only two natural responses to all this news are: 1) Flee to the wilderness, 2) Get Facebook installed in your brain. Hooray for the future!
2:26 — CTO Bret Taylor is joining in the “We So Cool!” trend of the speech. “I cook almost every night of the week. And I run.”
2:28 — This Keynote speech has spent a weirdly long time focusing on Facebook executives’ love of cooking, considering all the big media partnerships that were announced.
2:36 — You might find all this stuff boring, but in Silicon Valley, this is pure business porn.
2:53 — Zuckerberg is back for the big finish. “So when is all this gonna launch?” The Timeline Beta period starts now. It will be rolled out widely over the next few weeks, thus giving everyone enough time to respond angrily in their own way.
2:56 — Music, movies, and TV are also launching now.
2:57 — Not to be overlooked is the fact that Zuckerberg has taken this speech into some pretty abstract, semi-existential places. He still feels that Facebook has a larger mission, which is easy to miss amidst all the talk about IPOs and media integration. Mind you, that mission seems to be: “Life, man. Like, life.”
2:58 — The Keynote speech is over. Consider your media officially integrated.
Follow Darren on Twitter: @EWDarrenFranich