Saturday, September 24, 2011

Facebook is becoming the next big platform with Timelines, smart social apps and better privacy

I know it's super trendy to be anti-Facebook and looking for more "open" or less "evil" alternatives like Google+ or Diaspora. But after the massive changes announced at Facebook's f8 developer conference on Thursday, I feel like it's time I say this out loud: I love Facebook.

Facebook, one of my favorite web destinations
Skating to where the puck is going to be

I love Facebook as a service, and I love Facebook as a company. I completely agree with MG Siegler from Techcrunch on this: Facebook is becoming the new Apple, skating to where the puck is going to be, and leaving the competition baffled in dust, miles behind.

Sure, change and innovation are often difficult to accept for the now almost 1 billion strong mainstream Facebook user base. Even a minor repositioning of a button is bound to make someone upset. For a week or so.

And that's why I have even more respect for Facebook: despite being very mainstream, they are not afraid to innovate. They could easily sit on their asses for a year or two and wait for Google+ or something else to catch up. Instead, they choose to run head first into the questions nobody is even asking yet, and often finding answers nobody else can think of. Like Apple, Facebook is still able to maintain the mentality of a startup and has the guts to challenge the status quo.

Do they get it right every time? No, of course not. But you're bound to make mistakes if you're trying hard to be the first and the best in what you do. The tricky part is knowing how to recover from your falls, move on, and find the next big thing that will change people's lives forever.

This might seem like a big statement; after all, Facebook is just a social network, right? Well, it seems like they have bigger plans than that. The folks at Facebook are really hard at work trying to find the best ways for people to connect online. And not by pilling up features, but by rethinking the way we connect to each other on a human level.

And human is the keyword to the two major changes announced on Thursday. Firstly, completely redesigned user profiles, now called Timelines. And secondly, the new generation of Facebook apps that enable social experiences, and finally make seem the semantic web a step closer to reality. Let me explain why I'm so excited about all these new features.

Note: This is just an archive post. The blog has moved to a new home at, where you will also find a copy of the entire blog.