Timeline Launched – what does this mean for mobile apps

25 Sep

The launch of Timeline by Facebook really excited us here at mobiDdiction from an information architecture & visulisation perspective. We really liked the analogy of “creating an info-graphic of your life” which summaries what this new view on data will allow users on Facebook to see – obviously there is a little more to this too…

I can’t help to think that the Intel Museum of Me is certainly more the type of interface we can expect moving into the future, but for now, we are happy with what Facebook is going out with :-).

The data in Facebook has always been there however now that the quantity of this data is so large it makes this visualisation possible.

This is great story for Social Connection and by bringing this to life there are a set of new functions & feautures introduced by Facebook that really live true to their analogy of Social by Design. To us these really provide the impetus for all mobile applications to be social from the get-go.

What functions of Timeline change the game for mobile apps?


Facebok Timeline unveiled

1. Driving discoverability and relevance becomes even more important for app success

Post F8 now more than ever Facebook is really pushing direct integration between Facebook and the app/service. This is best described if you look at the video produced by Spotify:

*Spotify is yet to hit Australia, due to subscription rights in AUS

The important thing to remember is this association and behavior is not just restricted to a company like Spotify it is something that all applications being developed can tap into. As a company this really aids in speeding up the discoverability of the service and brand you offer and it’s a real missed opportunity if you don’t tap into it and an easy way to be outpaced by the competition.

2. There is a whole new vernacular for brands and apps

Previously when talking about integration between your Application and Social Conversation you only had the ability to either let someone “Like” your post or push a button that would prompt a dialogue box which would load a status update like “mobiDdiction has viewed 75 different clothing items and thinks this is the one. What do you think?” for the user to confirm and set live.  The secondary whilst the more effective one, got little action, due to it being quite an intrusive action for most users as part of the app experience.

Now Facebook is allowing you to create your own vocabulary of actions which users sign up to at the start of installing your app. So then to preform the same action as quoted above all as a user of your app would simply have to do is click on a button to say “ask my friends” and this action would be preformed.

I think the usage of this service will get a lot more bang for buck as it is less intrusive from a customer experience point of view.

Ultimately this is generating more Word of Mouth interactions and making it a lot quicker.

3. Virtual Currency and the need for Facebook Credits becomes stronger

All this interaction between App, Social Circles and the Brand, builds love, consideration and trust. We know TRUST trumps all and a recommendation from a friend increases purchase intent by a factor of 4X.

It is the essence of these behaviors and actions that should push brands towards identifying and rewarding people for helping spread their word of mouth.

This is the core reason why we think the currency of Facebook credits becomes even more important to brands and provides them with a need to invest in a virtual currency like this.

As a brand I can reward people for:

  • helping spread the word
  • sorting out problems/issues around the brand & products
  • bringing their friends in-store for a group discount which is part credit and part cash

The potential beyond this list is again limitless and I think one each brand can evaluate for itself.

So what should I do now?

Well I think this is great opportunity to review any app you currently have in the market and evaluate it based on these 3 simple points and evaluate a roll out cycle that will allow you to tap into these points.
If you are in the process of building an app have a look at how you are rolling it out based on these 3 principles.

As always this is our point of view and please feel free to start up a discussion below or send us in your questions :-).


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