Facebook has been built, for years, around the simple act of a person liking something. In the last few weeks, Facebook has rolled out more than 60 partnerships that add new verbs to the Facebook timeline.
Facebook’s new partnerships
Building on applications from partner organizations, Facebook has rolled out several new kinds of posts that are based on new verbs. Pinterest app users now post automatically to Facebook when they have pinned something. Spotify users listen to a song. News app users read stories. Foodspotting users post that they wanted something. More than 60 different partners can automatically post new verbs to Facebook timelines.
A new move on marketing
The move toward a more verbose Facebook timeline is, among other things, an attempt to make Facebook more attractive to marketers. Sponsored stories ads could soon integrate the new verbs, meaning that a customer could click a button to “order pizza” or “read a news story.” The new app integrations also help build usership of Facebook apps instead of sources outside Facebook, which further integrates Facebook into everyday web use.
Frustration with app ecosystem
The app integration on Facebook is not without problems. Some users are especially concerned about the privacy protections in Timeline apps. Often, installing an app means you have exactly one opportunity to set the privacy and sharing on particular apps. Many app users are also expressing extreme frustration with the fact that many app readers post links that only point back to the app itself, instead of posting a link to the actual action that the user took on the associated website or service.
Driving buzz with apps
If done carefully, marketers can use the new Facebook Timeline to build buzz about their products or services. Design Facebook apps with privacy settings that can be altered at any time and links that do not necessarily require individuals to install the app to view a friend’s action. Claim your app and your verb quickly. Facebook is about action, and building your business or service with a verb or an action will pay off in the long run.