The F8 Developer Conference didn’t reveal much about Facebook. Oh wait, my bad. It kind of did. After leaving the San Francisco conference stage last Thursday, Mark Zuckerberg effectively tossed aside the social network you’ve come to know and love, at least most of the time. Unless you’ve been living under one of Mark’s old, worn-out hoodies, you know about the changes that make up the new Facebook. But just in case, here they are in broad strokes:
- The integration of Spotify and Turntable.fm making Facebook a premier entertainment hub. Somewhere, Justin Timberlake is cursing Sean Parker. ‘Why oh why did I play you?’
- A complete profile redesign and increased user control over news feeds
- The introduction of “Timeline” or what Mark continuously referred to as, and I’m paraphrasing, the story of your life. It enables users to add photos and events making your profile look like a really cool Apple commercial
Pretty exciting stuff. Actually for marketers, it’s all a little frightening. Why? Because it ups the ante on the whole notion of compelling content. We’ve all heard the term engagement ad nauseum. Content has to be engaging blah blah blah. Now, it really does. For content to hit a user’s news feed, it has to be amazingly compelling, authoritative and relevant. It has to mean something. And that brings us to the world famous Like.
In one of the unintentionally funnier moments of the Zuckerberg presentation – Andy Samberg wins the funny award hands down – Mark announced verbs are coming to Facebook. Yes, verbs! Though tempting, the follow-up question shouldn’t be ‘What about adverbs and pronouns?’ but rather ‘What does this mean for the Like button?’ Certainly, the Like lost a little luster on Thursday. By adding buttons like Read, Watched, Listened, brand ambassadors will be able to go further with endorsements. Advertisers and marketers obsessed with getting likes will finally have to come to terms with the fact that a like means nothing if it doesn’t convert. With Read, Watched, Listening and down the line perhaps Purchased buttons, advertisers and marketers will have quantifiable and measurable conversion metrics.
So what’s the marketing story? Delivering compelling content and measuring conversions.