The cat is out of the bag that Facebook is going to launch something big at its developer conference f8 this week. We’ve heard about the social music services that could be debuting in a few days, but as the New York Times conveyed this past weekend, Facebook is planning for ways to surface personal content better. And we’ve heard from a source that Facebook will introduce new buttons on the wall that will begin introducing some granularity to the “Like” concept. We’re told these new buttons are “Read,” “Listened,” “Watched.” The network will also soon launch new social commerce buttons like “Want” following the introductions of the aforementioned buttons.
It’s important to qualify that this is from a source (and not from Facebook) but from what we hear, Facebook users will be able to click Read, Listened, Watched on content in their news feed. And soon, “Want” as well.
And it’s unclear what will happen to the Like button and how these new buttons will affect the Like button. And we don’t know what Facebook will do with this data, but there is so much the network could do with the data from these buttons. It seems pretty obvious that ad targeting would be a huge opportunity as well as the capability of delivering a more personalized experience for users. Not to mention that brands, retailers, entertainment companies and other businesses will be able to gain segmented data around the Like.
If all of this is starting to sound a bit like Facebook’s infamous Beacon project, it shouldn’t be too surprising — from what we’ve heard a key part of these new Facebook features is to provide Beacon-like functionality in terms of auto-populating News Feed stories based around intent and actions. But they’ll do so without the advertising and privacy ramifications. At least for now…
The introduction of these new, granular buttons would certainly add more depth to content surfaced by media sharing apps as well as from retailers, which is in line with previous reports of what’s being launched. We’ll keep you updated on what else we hear is in the pipeline for f8 (and we know what’s not being announced: Project Spartan).
Update: Liz Gannes is reporting that the motto for f8 will be “Read. Watch. Listen.” — that sounds exactly in line with the buttons we’ve heard about.