Facebook’s Next Big App Categories Will Be Movies, Books, And Fitness

As Facebook is working to build partnerships with big media companies, the company sees a huge opportunity for growth in the sharing and discovery of movies, books and fitness tools on its platform. At the D: Dive Into Media conference today, Facebook VP of Partnerships Dan Rose said the company expects the next wave of its app ecosystem to be driven by those media categories.

When Facebook first launched its app ecosystem, gaming was the first category to really hit it big on the social network, thanks to developers like Zynga. Now, gaming is still a huge business, with Facebook paying out billions of dollars to game developers.

According to Rose, the next wave of media adoption came from news organizations, thanks to the launch of the “Like” button. Suddenly, users were sharing tons of news stories and articles in their news feeds. That was followed by music, with the growth of applications like Spotify building on the Facebook platform. “Music is such a social experience everywhere,” Rose said. Facebook simply made music discovery easier, by letting users know what their friends were listening to at scale.

But now that those categories have been conquered, Rose says that the next round of content discovery apps on Facebook will probably be movies, books and fitness applications.

On the movie and video side, Netflix is finally able to make its social-sharing feature available after a lobbying effort to change the Video Privacy Protection Act. With a new bill effectively nullifying that legislation, we’ll see a lot more mentions of the types of movies and TV shows our friends are watching showing up in people’s news feeds.

Rose said that the company wants to enable partners to use the data that users share about the content that they like, and enabling those developers to provide better recommendations. That will help drive traffic back to services like Netflix. And by enabling users to share what they’re watching back to Facebook, the service creates a virtual cycle of connecting audiences with new types of content.

He said books are another interesting category. “When you read a book, you’re investing 5-10 hours of your time,” he said. “We want to make sure that’s a good use of our time.” Using social recommendations through apps like GoodReads is a good way to find out what books one should actually invest their time reading.

And finally, fitness apps and sharing around those apps will also be big on Facebook, Rose expects. That’s driven by an increasingly mobile group of users and apps connected with Facebook, enabling users to share details about the routes that they run, exercises they do and other details.