Highlights from F8

Mark Zuckerberg at Facebook's annual developer conference F8

Mark Zuckerberg at Facebook's annual developer conference F8

Facebook’s mega developer conference in San Francisco set the scene for the next 12 months of the social web. Mark Zuckerberg and team are setting the pace for how we interact with our friends online.

The main highlights:

  • A mission about giving people the power to share, an ecosystem that will reward apps that help people share
  • A set of ten core values for what an app should do: meaningful (social, useful, expressive, engaging), trustworthy (secure, respectful, transparent), well designed (clean, fast and robust)
  • A verification and awards programme for great apps
  • A way of logging on to existing web sites with your Facebook account so bringing your  details with you (photo, name etc) and seeing what your friends are up to on that web site (Facebook Connect) Read Om Malik on Why it matters and why Facebook will win for more.
  • Lots and lots of excitement – the hype burn off that we’ve seen in London is definitely not here
  • Increasing investment into app companies, especially those creating apps for students (fb fund recipients) as well as the usual suspects of travel apps, wish lists and games networks
  • More improvements to the feed aggregation and story templates, new ways to view the feed – top stories, status updates, photos, posted notes and via the mini-profile. The feed is increasingly becoming central to the Facebook user experience – a bit as I predicted last year.
  • Virtuous circle of sharing – the more people view stuff that people have shared the more likely they are to then share stuff themselves

Of the third parties I liked:

  • Kontagent who have a really good tracking system for measuring cohort activity and A/B testing on Facebook apps.
  • Flixster who have a solid money making business model paid for by the hollywood studios distributing blockbusters – their clients refreshingly were happy that users engaged with the product (viewed movie details, watched a trailer, added to want to see list) all within the platform and weren’t trying to count number of clicks to an external site
  • CourseFeed – who were getting 30%-40% take up of their app within universities – by first signing up the university who then made it available to students. Shows the power of facebook within an enterprise context.

All in all, a useful conference: it was more to get inside the heads of the people building the platform, the sharing systems and how they are designing it. Understanding the thinking is very useful and will help me build better and more effective apps.

I didn’t get to meet Mark Zuckerberg unfortunately, but I did manage to meet his sister.. :o)

Toby Beresford and Randi Zuckerberg at F8

Toby Beresford and Randi Zuckerberg at F8

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