Live Blog: Facebook’s f8 Developer Conference 2011 Keynote

The Inside Network team is here at Facebook’s f8 developer conference in San Francisco. We’ll be providing live coverage of all the news over the course of the day, starting with a live blog of the opening keynotes below. You can also watch the live feed of the show here.

Among the many rumored launches are a music and media platform service, a new profile, more sophisticated developer access to news feeds, and a new set of buttons that indicate certain actions.

10:16 Andy Samberg has taken the stage posing as Mark Zuckerberg, cracking lots of jokes — including a graph that shows “800+ million users” worldwide, and a graph that shows engagement trends growing. He’s also announcing a new section of the profile for “I’m not really friends with these people.”

10:21 The real Mark Zuckerberg has taken the stage. They’re making more jokes.

It’s great to be hear today. Here are two of the most exciting things we’ve been working on.

The last 5 years of social networking have been getting people signed up and connected. Until recently, a lot of people weren’t sure how big it was going to be, how long it would last.

Now we can see that it’s everyone working.

For the first time ever last week, we had half a billion people use Facebook in a single day.

More and more people continue to sign up and use the service.

The next era, the next 5 years, will be about apps and depths of engagement now that everyone has their connections in place.

It’s an exciting time to be part of building these new apps that are possible.

10:26 I want to start out talking about the profile. People feel an intense ownership over the profile. Everything about you. Millions of people have invested a ton of time on them. Our job is to make them the best way to share and express who you are.

How this works has changed a bunch over the years.

The 2004 profile was basic, just showed info like where you’re from. But people loved it. Showed valuable information.

Then we started adding things like photos, groups and apps. If the first 5 minutes is basic, an introcution, then the next 15 is about what your’e doing.

By 2008 we introduced a new profile. It had changed to all things you’d shared and done recently. Allowed you to have the next 15 minutes.

But we’re more than what we did recently. Most get into all parts of your life. Just clicking “more” on the wall was hard to do.

All the stories you’d shared over time fall off the cliff at the bottom of the wall. Millions of people have spent years curating the stories of their lives and there hasn’t been a way to share that.

We think we’ve solved that. Showing all the unique things of your life…. beautiful.

What I want to show you today is the rest, beyond 15. The next few hours of a great, in-depth engaging conversation, whether with a close friend or someone you just met.

The heart of your Facebook experience, completely thought up.

10:30 Launching Timeline

The story of your life.

So lets take a look.

The first thing is that it’s a lot more visual. Down at the bottom, all your stories. A nice visual… bottom section is visual. The right is years to get to any point in your life. In the middle are visual tiles to see apps and other stuff you’ve done. On top of is the cover photo.

All your stories, all your apps, a new way to express who you are.

Then you can scroll past and see tiles that keep going all the way to the bottom.

Here’s what it looks on a mobile device. Smaller view of the scroll.

Biggest challenge was telling whole stories on a single page. But don’t want to show every single thing.

Starts off with recent, as you go further back it starts summarizing. Further back you summarize more.

Last month a little less, etc.

You can see the timeline running down the middle here. Blue dots are highlighted, gray dots are for less important.

See something that’s hidden, hover over. But all right here. See everything in 2007, click on the link and it’s all there.

It’s so simple.

10:35 Exactly how you want to browse through time, and discover what people have done through their whole lives.

But how to add? Say I want to add a photo from my childhood. Pop up composer, post.

Creating completely new type of timeline for life event. Getting a dog — add Beast’s info and it’s there.

This is the main timeline.

What do you do if you want to see content filter down. Here’s the photos timeline view. Here’s some people working at Facebook.

People visiting. Much nicer than anything we have today.

You can see all sorts of trips, where you were. Go all the way back to where you were born. All about apps, tell the story of your life on your timeline.

Perhaps the most common thing people had used was to add boxes of things to their profiles. A lot of people had 50 or 60 or even 100 boxes. Add to the bottom of profile, quickly became unwieldy. We learned that people really want to use apps to express themselves.

Even though they couldn’t all fit into the old profile design, we took those lessons and now apps can be used to express on the timeline.

The way is that they’ll rely on apps to help them out.

What kinds of content can go on the timeline? You can start sharing like before. Here’s an example: post about cooking bison burger. No activity is too big or too small to share.

You can add a box right at the top.

This is a report of everything that I’ve cooked in September — summary is more interesting than every single thing. Apps can help roll up every activity. Get a nice summary, really interesting. We think people are really going to like these.

Take me to a timeline view. All the way back in time.


If the app has history, you can see everything in there.

Here’s Bret’s timeline. Using a running app. Pretty cool. Nice pop-up.

That’s how apps can help you tell the story. I’ll get into more detail about building these apps in a bit.

In your timeline, not just a place for adding stories and apps. Where you tell your story online is very personal.

Gives ability to highlight and curate stories so you can express who you really are. Cover photo. Nice big photo right at the top. Still have a profile pic. So cover can be something else. Great way to learn about someone without having to read anything at all.

You can change the cover as often as you like. Really easy: hover, pick photo, switch. Some people in testing are doing every day.

Vacation photo — how to highlight in timeline? Hover over any story in the timeline.

Calls up all the important stuff. Switch to blue dot from gray.

Shows sample profiles for travel-lover, musician. Showed most on web. But all works beautifully on mobile devices. Works beautifully. See all the photos.

10:48 This means a new kind of app.

Last year we introduced the concept of the open graph. A map of all of the connections in the world. You could add anything. Connect to it by liking it. Connect to order of magnitude versus before. This year we’re taking it to the next step: you can connect to anything, anywhere.

Not just “Like” but “Read” a book. “Watch” a movie. “Eat” a meal. “Hike” a trail. “Listen” to music. Language for anything you want.

Every year we make some new social apps possible, express themselves in new ways.

People have things they want to share, but don’t want to annoy their friends. If the problem is that, then Ticker.

Lightweight stream of everything going on around you. Something might catch your attention out of the corner of your eye, but not annoy your friends. Share post goes into news feed, but activity goes to Ticker and Timeline but not news feed unless there’s a particularly interesting pattern that you want your friends to see.

Until today, no socially acceptable way to express lightweight activity.

Next version of Open Graph. Connect to anything you want. Define action and publish. This will make it possible to build a completely new class of social apps. What kind? A lot. We believe almost all will be social. But in real world there’s a spectrum.

Naturally social — turn into social apps first.

10:55 Communication, games. Other side of spectrum are health care and finance that I don’t think there’ll be social apps for a long time.

Expand to new stuff: media. Music, movies, TV, news, books. Really great open graph apps.

Next is “lifestyle” apps: helping you keep track and express everything about your lifes. Bike rides, cooking, apps.

New class of apps, rethink a lot of industries.

Open graph, enable apps that do two types of things: fill out timeline and discover new things through friends.

Frictionless Experiences

Sharing super mario app that let’s you share activity. In the middle of some app that makes you share.

If you’re using new open graph apps. Add activity without prompts. Still publish to stream, but if your goal is to just share lightweight activity — connecting timeline together.

To make this work, we completely redesigned permissions.

App says what kind of activity it will publish. Now Spotify won’t have to prompt me every time I do something. How is this going to help you discover new things through friends.

Turns out they’re already doing a lot of things around you.

Real-Time Serendipity:

Tick right in. Friends hover over, can see what to listen to. Now listening to song with a friend. Music is synched up with friends.

News feed can show patterns of friends. Seem flow of music from friends.

11:00 Finding Patterns and Activity

Sometimes you discover new songs from friends across platforms. See any music player. Any patterns. Discover really neat new things.

Shows shared music listening.

Can see notifications from friends who share.

Next wave is music companies trying to help you discover new songs, not blocking existing ones.

Devs are using Open Graph. But rethink music industry.

11:05 Daniel Ek from Spotify is on stage.

Big day for everyone who loves music. First time that I used in Facebook in Sweden back in the day. Like serendipity.

Music is important part of my life. People discovered through friends.

A bit over ten years ago, big change: Napster. Didn’t work for music industry. So we worked a music that fairly compensates artists. And lets you see what your friends are listening to.

With social, spotify has: more music, more variety, twice as likely to pay.

Huge list of new music partners.

TVs and Movies

Really similar to music. See friends who are watching Glee on Hulu in news feed. Hover over, click, new social canvas app shows. Everyone who uses it will be FB user, will have social experience. Further down page, four friends have recently watched movies with Johnny Depp in them on Netflix.

Can click through and watch a Depp movie.

Here is a friend’s timeline. Carl’s video timeline. Can see all the things he’s watched.

Not just watching with your friends.

11:10 Reed Hastings, Netflix CEO and Facebook board member, is on stage.

Netflix algorithm shows lots of friends watching Breaking Bad. Shows lots of info, but social also helps.

Facebook-Netflix integration is live in 44 countries, but not in US due to outdated privacy law — but Congress is working on that.

11:15 News

Social news app with Open Graph to discover what your friends are reading first. Really interesting patterns that are possible to show. Here are all of the most popular articles. Yahoo News article on astronaughts — will use open graph to discover more news stories through friends. Back to the feed, I can also see that 30 friends are reading about f8. Can see all the articles.

See one from Washington Post. See news in real-time as it’s breaking in the Ticker. More than a dozen devs worked with us to build news apps. Rethink a lot of the way that the industry works.

Social games are killing it.

Games are biggest on platform — will get bigger.

Now with open graph, nice clear dialogue up front. Will see real things that they’re doing. Not just “this person is playing a game” — Mike playing Words With Friends with Carl. Can see game board and word on it. Possible because every piece of content in open graph has picture associated with it. Zynga’s Words With Friends.

Social games, using open graph.


Lifestyle apps. Running, cooking. Covers what he’d mentioned at the start.

New class of social apps. Things with friends.

11:25 Bret Taylor, Facebook CTO, on stage.

Detail on how to build these apps. How your apps fit into new vision.

Open graph apps are about more than sharing. Self-expression, serendipity. As great side effect of normal behavior. Lightweight way that goes beyond shared dialogue.

Open Graph goals

– Simple user experience
– Simple developer experience
– Engaging apps

Adding app to timeline is one-click experience.

No step two — just add and start listening.

11:30 Social by design

– Model your app’s social actions
– Design your timeline integration
– Add to timeline

Model Your App’s Social Actions

Big question is how it fits in. Expanding social graph to all social actions. Listening, watching, reading, etc.

That’s what it means to be part of social graph. What activity do I want to see?

See songs I’m listening to, and stations I’m plahing. Also creating a few custom radio stations. Imagine creating list and sticking next to graduation photo. Now every time I listen to song in iHeartRadio, using data structure, tapping into all experiences that Mark showed earlier.

By using same underlying structure as what f8 uses. That cooking app. All recipes I’ve added, recipes that friends have bookmarked.

Design Your Timeline Integration

List of music that user listens to. Or list of artists most often played. Aggregations — query of trends.

All sorts of other info — 6 layout styles, flexible query engine. I can pick and choose which of these stories I want to show my friends. Really one simple step next.

But a timeline button in your app. Work on every device conceivable — all web and mobile apps.

Moment you get access to dev beta, you can start adding all these platforms.

Engaging Apps

How to build them right? We’ve heard over and over that it’s just too hard right now. Shouldn’t need PhD in engineering and psychology to do it. Not tricks and gimmicks either.

The more engaging, the more people will discover. Ambitious considering where we are today.

Graph Rank — AI system that manages discovery of all open graph. What is most interesting to me? What is right to see?

Different for colleagues.

11:40 Chris Cox, vice president of product at Facebook, on stage.

Data as narrative. Story of wikipedia growth on one Page. Infographic are part of way that news is expressed. For any data-rich topic, can find one-page topic.

Not just topics. Nothing we love to summarize more. News publications do it all at the end of December.

Scrapbooking before ended up on bookshelves. But combine with information design.

Nicholas Felton data and business partner Brian Case developed new version for us. Hired Sam Lessin as well.

Accidentally tested Memories view for an hour this spring — lots of people loved it. What is the modern vehicle for scrapbooking?

Goes over how to use the new scrapbooking feature.

11:55 Zuckerberg back on stage

Timeline: beta starts now.

Developers will get access now, everyone else will sign up and it’ll get rolled out widely in the next few weeks.

Publish date: September 22, 2011 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT