Facebook have today launched a raft of apps for the new Facebook Timeline profile. The apps, which number 60, have been built-in conjunction with partners such as Guardian, Rockmelt and others. Facebook are quoted as saying that the new apps are meant to allow Timeline users to share media more seamlessly and with greater ease. Millions of users are currently using these apps so far, something Facebook are very happy about.
Facebook know that sharing is the backbone of their social media website and as such have been looking for means and ways to get people to share more on the website, something that has been proven to drive engagement as well as increase time spent on the website. Competing with the likes of Yahoo and Google for eyeballs and ad dollars, Facebook have embarked on a fierce campaign to keep users on the world’s largest social media site surfing on it.
The launch of the apps comes barely a week after Facebook announced that it would offer advertisers advertising on Facebook a 45% discount on their ads if they direct users who click on their ads to another section of Facebook rather than off the site. It must be remembered that most advertisers link their Facebook ads to their websites and this is what Facebook want to shunt if they can; they want users spending even more time on the site than they already do.
The new Facebook apps include the likes of Guardian, Pinterest, Dailymotion, Living Social, USA Today and so on. Facebook have also thrown open the website to developers for them to add their own apps to the social graph apps already launched. The social graph apps allow users to share what they are reading, listening to or viewing straight to their Facebook timeline, an improvement from the Like function where users could only “Like” something but could not necessarily share it directly to their Facebook profile.
This new turn in events sees Facebook trying to strengthen their position as an ad giant rivalling Google although the ever-present dis-sentiments concerning privacy can be heard. The unfortunate truth is that Facebook make money from mining users’ personal data and as long as Facebook is a for-profit company, you must expect them to stretch the privacy debate even thinner as they try to squeeze as much ad value from users as possible.