Wednesday, 15 May 2013

New Facebook Timeline Sections Roll Out Worldwide

Facebook sections movies Facebook has made sections available worldwide, enabling all users to express themselves and share their interests in app-specific boxes on the timeline. Many apps have already taken advantage of the new feature, integrating with sections to provide users with a new way to interact and engage with games, music, movies and much else besides.

Goodreads, Netflix and Rotten Tomatoes have all integrated with sections to enable users to star-rate and categorise books and movies. Sections are tabulated, allowing users to say whether they have read a book or watched a movie, want to do so, or have liked the book/movie on Facebook.

Music apps have also integrated with the new sections feature, so users can now share the songs they listen to and like. Users can also listen to their friends’ favourite songs by clicking on them in the timeline. Facebook believes that sections are better than the now-defunct aggregations, according to the announcement post on the Developers pages:

Sections are […] a more beautiful and lasting way to display your app on timeline compared to aggregations, which we are no longer supporting.

In the announcement post, Facebook also highlights the potential that integrating fitness apps within the timeline could have: friends could motivate one another by sharing fitness regimens. Endomondo, Nike+, Runtastic, and Strava are the app examples given, written above a chart displaying a random user’s weekly running distances.

Facebook sections running
App developers have the opportunity to be creative with their sections, messing around with tab titles and the content within them. The game Pearl’s Peril, for example, displays a user’s completed levels on the timeline, information similar to that which is shared in the notifications section of the news feed.

At the end of the announcement post, Facebook shares its best practices for app developers looking to take advantage of the new sections feature:

  1. Give people a way to add your custom section to timeline: Consider including a URL in your app to give your users a preview of your section and help them decide whether to add it to timeline (see Foursquare example below).
  2. Choose the right template for your section: For example, apps with great visual content should use the gallery template to draw people's attention. We also support list and map templates.
  3. Focus on quality and completeness before submitting your section for approval: To make the review process simple, submit your section only after making sure your object images and descriptions are complete and look great from the perspective of your users.
According to Facebook’s announcement post, users are already taking full advantage of the new sections feature, adding 200 million items daily. At the time of the posts publication 17 billion songs had been added to music sections via apps or likes.

Do you like Facebook’s new apps sections?       


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