Friday, 10 December 2010

New Facebook Profile - An Overview

The social media space is all a buzz about Facebook's latest update.

If you missed the 60 minutes interview with Mark Zuckerberg, there has been a makeover of your Profile page. Everyone is chiming in about what they like and don't like about the changes as well as speculating about the true rationale behind these changes.

According to Facebook, the changes are intended to help people connect by making it easier for Friends to share more about who they are and what they are up to. There is some dispute about this, but more about that later.

I've checked out the new Profile page and reviewed many of the comments. Following is a quick review of the changes and my take on what these changes mean to the small business using Facebook.

The Introductory Profile Snapshot.
The top of the page now includes a snapshot of who you are: where you live, where you work, where you went to school and what important thing you are currently working on. A collection of recently tagged photos also shows what you've been up to lately. (Note: This is automatically populated when you convert to the new Profile page. To change these photos, click on "Photos" under your Profile photo, upload new photos and/or tag yourself in existing ones.)


Under your profile picture you will now find:

The Info section now provides an opportunity to provide more detail about you, what you are doing and what you are interested in. For example, in the Education and Work section, you can add details of an interesting project you are currently working on. Based on your interests and activities, you can provide more info on the sports you play, the movies and books you enjoy and the activities and interests you pursue. You can then connect with Friends that share similar interests and activities.

There is more emphasis on photos in the new Profile Page. Recently uploaded or tagged photos appear under your profile snapshot so people can get a glimpse of what you've been up to lately.

The intent here seems to be to facilitate grouping of Friends based on criteria that you find meaningful (i.e. Work, School, Interests etc.)

As far as I can tell, these changes apply only to your personal page - not your business/Fan page - yet.
However, from a business perspective, these changes may provide additional opportunities to advertisers. As Facebook obtains more detailed information about its users, advertisers will be able to better target ads and further refine their messages to appeal to their target audience. Some are speculating that this is the real reason behind the changes.

At a minimum, this change is another signal that Facebook is on the move towards becoming much more than a place we connect with Friends. I think it is safe to say that the future of SEO and search will look very different. Will Facebook lead the way? I'll be watching this space closely and helping to sort things out as developments occur. If you've invested heavily in SEO, it will be important to monitor these trends and make changes in your online strategy accordingly.


Sandy Halliday said...

Well my profile page hasn't changed yet so I can't comment. I read that they were rolling out the changes slowly and they would not be available to everyone until next year. Is the UK always behind?

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