Skip to main content

    Facebook unveils 'new kind of social app' with new verbs like Read, Watch, and Listen

    Facebook unveils 'new kind of social app' with new verbs like Read, Watch, and Listen

    Share this story

    Facebook is adding a whole new brand of applications that allow you to share what exactly you're up to, discover what your friends are doing, and even share those experiences with your friends simultaneously. Apps can use new "verbs" like "Reading" a book (instead of just Liking it), Watching a show, Listening to music, or even Cooking. Developers can pair any verb with any noun to allow users to express themselves beyond the Like. To cut down on noise, not all of these granular activities will go into your news feed, but they will pop up in that new activity "ticker" that's caused such a ruckus on Facebook of late. Facebook will also use the same algorithm it uses on your Timeline for figuring out importance to promote specific activity like creating a playlist "that doesn't happen every day."

    What's really exciting is that realtime sharing allows for shared experiences as well. For instance, Facebook is partnering with all sorts of music services, including Spotify, Mog, and Rdio, and if you see your friend is listening to a song you can click on that activity in the ticker and start listening to the song along with them. Netflix and Hulu work similarly, allowing you to watch a show along with your bros / girlbros, much like Xbox Live Part Mode, minus the 3D avatars. Unfortunately Netflix will only be available outside the US initially due to a legal concern in the US -- which is strange because the Xbox feature is available in the US. Facebook is also teaming up with publications and game publishers. All of this functionality is an expansion of Facebook's "Open Graph" protocol. It used to be just a way to Like webpages, thereby pulling them into Facebook land, but now it's clear Facebook's ambitions are much greater -- they want to pull in everything you do, online and off, and make it social. This all of course plays into "Zuckerberg's Law": every year, the amount of information people share doubles. With these new features, that goal almost seems modest.

    Check out a video after the break.

    Check out our liveblog of the f8 keynote for more info.