Mark Zuckerberg's big Facebook announcement: What you need to know from his keynote speech

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Image Credit: Paul Sakuma/AP Images

Big changes are coming to Facebook. What do those changes entail? We don’t know (though, like everyone, we have our suspicions). But we will know… soon. At 1 p.m. EST/10 PST, Mark Zuckerberg will deliver the keynote presentation of this year’s f8 conference. Expect news of partnerships, potentially including new Facebook Music and Facebook video-related deals. Watch the live-stream of the keynote starting at 1 p.m. EST/10 PST here. We’ll update this post as the revelations arrive.

UPDATE: Big announcements from the Keynote speech include partnerships with Netflix, Hulu, Spotify, and Rhapsody, plus a complete rethink of the Facebook Profile in a new aesthetic called “Timeline.” One twist: The Netflix/Facebook integration is not currently allowed in the United States… because it’s not legal. Yet.

1:16 — Andy Samberg is onstage pretending to be Mark Zuckerberg. He just made a Glee joke and a MySpace joke. This is how you know that you’re not watching an Apple event.

1:21 — The real Mark Zuckerberg just walked onstage and is laughing harder at the whole Samberg/Zuckerberg thing than anyone else. Hey, as far as crazy things for rich people to spend money on, it’s better than buying a private island and hunting people for sport.

1:23 — Andy Samberg/Fake-Zuckerberg is now doing Andy Samberg’s Mark Wahlberg impression. A wormhole is forming onstage.

1:24 — Zuckerberg: “Just last week, we had a pretty cool milestone at Facebook. For the first time ever, in a single day, we had half a billion people use Facebook.”

1:30 — Zuckerberg just announced an evolutionary leap forward for the Facebook Profile. “We’re calling it Timeline.” He claims it’s the next step from the Live-Stream. “Timeline is the story of your life.” He splits it into three things: “1) All your stories, 2) All your apps, 3) A new way to express who you are.”

1:31 — It appears to be a complete redesign. It look a little bit like msn.com. Anyone who has ever complained that navigating Facebook has become a confusing orgy of boxes will not be happy about this. It’s ambitious, certainly.

1:33 — Basically, Facebook Timeline basically rescues everything you have ever posted from the depths of your wall. You can feasibly scroll all the way down to a photo you added from 2007 very quickly.

1:34 — Zuckerberg: “It’s your whole life…it’s so simple.”

1:37 — Basically, Facebook Timeline is The Tree of Life without the dinosaurs.

1:39 — Zuckerberg is presenting all these changes by showing his own profile, which adds a nice personal touch, but also means this presentation could easily be titled “Mark Zuckerberg: My Awesome Life.” Bison burgers!

1:42 — “Timeline is a completely new aesthetic for Facebook.” It’s true — this is the most complete, least subtle redesign that Facebook has ever done.

1:44 — This has suddenly become a first-level videogame tutorial. Mind you, it’s a fascinating first-level videogame tutorial. “Hover over the gray dot,” says the man who changed how humanity interacts forever.

1:46 — Now showing a video about Timeline that shows one person’s entire life. It’s nice, but kind of feels like a weird attempt to one-up the famous “Parisian Wedding” Google commercial.

1:49 — “We’re gonna make it so you can connect to anything you want in any way you want.” Zuckerberg is announcing an evolution of the “Like” function. You no longer have to “Like” a movie — now, you can just “watch” a movie. Naturally, you still can’t “hate” a movie, but no reason to be negative when there’s advertising dollars on the line.

1:50 — I stand corrected. Zuckerberg claims to have added in “verbs.” Maybe you can “hate” something on Facebook. Intriguing.

1:54 — New Open Graph: “Frictionless experiences, realtime serendipity, and finding patterns.”

1:55 — “Frictionless experiences” means that, while you’re playing a game or using an app, you may never have to see one of those annoying “share this with your friends” pop-ups again.

1:57 — Spotify shout-out!

1:58 — If one of your friends is listening to a song on Spotify, you can click on a button and also listen to it. Assuming you already have Spotify. Interesting.

1:59 — Zuckerberg is talking a lot about patterns. I recommend rereading William Gibson’s Pattern Recognition.

2:00 — Zuckerberg just admitted to being a big Green Day fan. Unclear if he prefers them pre- or post-American Idiot reinvention.

2:01 — The Spotify integration seems to be pretty smooth. Waiting for news of other partnerships.

2:04 — Zuckerberg just invited Spotify’s CEO, Daniel Ek, onstage. They shared a bro-hug.

2:06 — Ek is describing the Spotify integration as the digital version of looking through a friend’s record collection.

2:08 — Zuckerberg’s back! “But it’s not just Spotify here…” The new music experience includes VEVO, Rhapsody, Turntable, Songza, Mog, and other companies I wasn’t interested enough to mark down.

2:09 — Now, onto television! Hulu has built a new canvas app for Facebook where, if your friend is watching Glee, you can watch along with them. Or you can ask your friend why they are still watching Glee when the show clearly peaked about two years ago. The point is, you’ll know they’re watching.

2:10 — And Netflix is here, too! The gang’s all here. Pause to imagine the Kings of Silicon Valley hanging out at a backyard pool party having a vegan BBQ and challenging each other to million-dollar games of MarioKart.

2:12 — Reed Hastings is onstage. That’s pretty brave. The Netflix CEO is not exactly Mr. Popular right now.

2:13 — The Netflix deal is basically this: If your friend is watching Breaking Bad, you will see that in your news feed. You can click on it. And you can watch it via Netflix.

2:14 — Twist! The Netflix-Facebook integration is available in 44 out of 45 countries. It is not currently available in the US because of a pesky privacy law that the government is apparently debating today. Netflix: Incapable of catching a break.

2:15 — Other non-Netflix partners include: IMDB, Flixster, DailyMotion, Blockbuster, and many other companies I didn’t catch because I was still reeling from the fact that the Netflix integration is not available in the United F—ing States.

2:17 — Zuckerberg is talking about social news apps. Huffington Post, Vice, USA Today, The Telegraph, The Economist, The Daily Mirror…lots of big, British names.

2:20 — The last category of apps that Zuckerberg is talking about: Social Apps.

2:21 — Another entry in the “Mark Zuckerberg: My Life is Awesome” sub-speech: Zuckerberg is showing off how much he jogged last month. Thanks, Nike running app!

2:23 — “We have the Open Graph. It’s a completely new class of Social Apps to discover new things through your friends with frictionless experiences, realtime serendipity, and finding patterns.” In conclusion.

2:23 — The video Facebook made of all these new apps is basically the new CBS series Person of Interest, with Zuckerberg in the Ben Linus role. The only two natural responses to all this news are: 1) Flee to the wilderness, 2) Get Facebook installed in your brain. Hooray for the future!

2:26 — CTO Bret Taylor is joining in the “We So Cool!” trend of the speech. “I cook almost every night of the week. And I run.”

2:28 — This Keynote speech has spent a weirdly long time focusing on Facebook executives’ love of cooking, considering all the big media partnerships that were announced.

2:36 — You might find all this stuff boring, but in Silicon Valley, this is pure business porn.

2:53 — Zuckerberg is back for the big finish. “So when is all this gonna launch?” The Timeline Beta period starts now. It will be rolled out widely over the next few weeks, thus giving everyone enough time to respond angrily in their own way.

2:56 — Music, movies, and TV are also launching now.

2:57 — Not to be overlooked is the fact that Zuckerberg has taken this speech into some pretty abstract, semi-existential places. He still feels that Facebook has a larger mission, which is easy to miss amidst all the talk about IPOs and media integration. Mind you, that mission seems to be: “Life, man.  Like, life.”

2:58 — The Keynote speech is over. Consider your media officially integrated.

Follow Darren on Twitter: @EWDarrenFranich

Read more:
Facebook preparing big, potentially media-reshaping announcement this Thursday

Comments (97 total) Add your comment
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  • datsmastyle

    I am going to give facebook a run for their money soon. You will see

  • Mozenator

    Ahhh, rich and famous people, how droll.

    Meanwhile, we, everyday people, are sitting here trying to navigate through this new FaceBook minefield of confusion.

    We just want FaceBook TO BE FACEBOOK!!! STOP with the changes already!!! I have a way to get music, video, etc..I use FaceBook…to Facebook! Leave it alone!

    • harry

      My best friend has just announced her wedding with a great man who is a cele+brity!
      They met-via { himillionaires%c o m }
      It is nice club for rich men or pretty girls mate.
      You do not need to be wealthy or famous, but you can meet your true love, it’s worthy a try.

      • jong

        People are going to start jumping to Google+ now. I can see it happening….BTW,I wanna share a good news to you.My best friend ,she just has announced her wedding with a millionaire man who is a celebrity !they met via
        Millionaireloving.C óM ..it is the largest and best club for celebrity and their admirers to chat online.You do not have to be rich or famous. ,but you can meet one , It’s worthy a try,Maybe you wanna check it out or tell your friends!

  • Mike

    And the complaints start already. Too all who complain, I’m horribly sorry that the website that you’re using for free is such a terrible inconvenience. But a site that doesn’t change and try to break new ground quickly becomes stale. If Facebook wants to stay prominent (and not go the way of Friendster and MySpace), it must innovate. Period.

    • Carly

      Well put Mike!!! I totally agree

    • DThor

      Mike, I think the complaints are about the quality of the changes, not the changes themselves. If the changes kept the variety of user ability in mind and embraced rather than challenged, users wouldn’t express so much frustration.

      • SaraS

        Some of the recent changes have been actually pretty good, and people still bitch and complain.

      • JB

        The only change I’ve hated so far is the ability to display your status update or pictures to all your friends except __. It’s just rude and not what networking is for. If people don’t want their info to be viewed by someone, they shouldn’t be on their friend list.

      • Liz

        I agree JB. Fortunately I have been out of school for some years now, but I can imagine the high school bullying that that feature can facilitate. I feel bad for kids these days.

      • Sue

        JB, I LOVE that change. I have a wide range of people that I am friends with, including some minors. Jokes and comments that would be perfectly okay for an adult audience, are not necessarily appropriate for a minor….or my father, LOL. This allows me to say what I feel like saying, and still protect the sensitivities of those who are strongly religious or for whatever reason, would feel offended.

      • @Mike

        Umm.. “free” isn’t exactly free. We give Facebook data that other companies pay millions of dollars for. We click on ads, we use apps, we are an audience and a demographic. If Facebook wants to continue to be successful, it owes its users a pleasant experience—not some jumbled up mess that is hard to navigate or to adjust personal settings to.

    • theforeverone

      Facebook has gone the way of Myspace and Frienster. WE THE PEOPLE MAKE THEM! We’re going to break them for messing up OUR pages. Get over yourself Mike

      • Marissa

        Haha, why does Mike have to get over himself when you’re the one who thinks a free page on the Internet is YOURS.

      • @Marissa

        Yeah, and when millions of Facebook users leave en masse—we’ll see exactly who comes begging, us or Mark Z.

      • PJ

        Except millions of users aren’t going to leave en masse. Maybe you will and your 3 Facebook friends (your parents and your grandma) but it’s still going to remain the world’s most popular social networking site.

      • Beepela

        Well, I’m leaving. Google+, here I come!

    • Gus

      I understand why they’re doing it.

      Still not remotely interested in getting a Facebook account.

    • Bob

      Two things:

      Facebook is not innovating, they are freaking out over Google+ and making changes that people don’t like while trying to find new ways to make a greater profit to pay back all the investors that have poured money into the company.

      Secondly, Facebook is *free, not free. You seem to think them some sort of philanthropists, but really Facebook users are not customers, they are the meat product. Facebook’s customers are advertisers.

      Regardless, if they don’t satisfy their users those users will move on to something else and Facebook will go the way of MySpace, so their complaints SHOULD be considered, not moaned away with cries of “But it’s free!”

      *Your personal information can and will be distributed to any number of third parties as your consent is given by signing up for an account, and all the statuses, photos, etc you post essentially become the property of Facebook.

  • Vee

    But the changes all suck really. They turned my already well designed and well liked news feed into a popularity contest ystrday calling them “top stories.” Based on what? Likes and comments? Since when is Fb a popularity contest? I’m starting to evaluate the role Fb will play after these changes start rolling out. I imagine using less and less than I do now honestly. Enough already Fb!

    • Mozenator

      Exactly.

    • Elle

      Since when is Facebook a popularity contest? Seriously? Did you just seriously ask that? Have you met Facebook? That is the entire point. Or are you the one person who sincerely cares about the girl you sat next to in science class 7 years ago’s cat?

      • Jo

        And FB was founded not only for the popular people at a university but was exclusive until it went public. People need to remember — FB doesn’t belong to the users. It belongs to Zuckerman — and he has done his homework — for everyone who complains, another person compliments. He recoginizes that the can’t please everyone. Does he get more money from these deals — you bet. Are you still able to log onto FB for free — yup.

    • Birv

      Hasn’t FB always been a popularity contest? I mean… isn’t that the whole point of tallying up how many friends you have in the first place?

      • Seriously

        Not everyone tallies up how many friends they have on Facebook (I haven’t a clue). I use it to keep track of friends and family all over the country. The changes have made it much harder for me to do that.

        And I hate that crawl at the side. I don’t care that someone posted LOL on a comment posted by someone I don’t even know.

    • daisy

      yep, just oe more reason to spend more time on Google+

      • Jo

        Until the same thing happens with them Listen, as one post said — it’s either keep fresh and new or go by way of the dodo.

  • Samantha

    For me, it’s just a little confusing. I like it aesthetically but I’m confused as to why they have “top stories” of just random status’. I’m also confused as to why there’s a newsfeed next to the newsfeed but whatever!

    • JB

      If you scroll down just a little after the top stories, you’ll see they have the statuses in order of recent activity.

      • Samantha

        yeah but for the past few days all of my “top stories” have just been random crap with little to no comments or likes. Why make these random status’ and photos at the top?

      • @Samantha

        Ah, I see what you’re saying. Top stories OF just random statuses. Yeah.. I agree I hate when Facebook tries to decide who/what I want to see. Like when they started only showing CERTAIN friends’ updates in the news feed — umm, ok that is NOT my decision, and I want to see everyone’s info. That’s why they’re on my friend list, and I can hide them if I want.

      • nodnarb

        I don’t know how Zuckerberg finds the time to read everyone’s status updates and determine what is “most interesting.”

      • re: @samantha

        that’s exactly my point. He’s putting this subscription BS in place and decided who is most important in my life. If I’m friends with these people aren’t I already subscribed to their life and updates? Why make others on top? Why even have a top?

      • JenJen

        Facebook doesn’t pretend to know exclusively what you would find to be a Top Story that is why they added a blue triangle in the top left corner of the post so you can set that determination. Yes or no is this a top story. Not rocket science.

      • re: jenjen

        My point is nothing should be a “top story”. This isn’t cnn or some other news website.

  • x

    here is my problem with the changes at facebook: everytime they make a change, it sucks. the timeline thing sounds interesting, but this new side feed/top stories feed is making me batty. i realize they need to periodically make improvements, but everytime they make a change, they end up changing it back because PEOPLE HATE CHANGE (especially when the changes SUCK). sure, add the music, add the timeline-that sounds interesting, but leave my news feed alone. i will decide who my close friends/relatives/acquantices are on my own. stop screwing with my facebook and just let it be!!

  • Mark Zucherberg

    You will have to pay extra if you want to stream video from now on, but posting a picture will be free.

    • Sara

      I imagine Mark Zuckerberg would have spelled his own name correctly…

  • rina

    thanks Zuckerberg you’re making facebook even worse than it is.

  • Myrick Jones

    Myspace went to crap when it got so overwhelmed with all the different additions every otherday. That’s why so many people went to Facebook so quickly!!! It WAS easy to navigate, you could could easily check out what your friends have going on. All this new stuff amounts to is greed. MONEY, that’s all.

    • Jo

      No, it went to crap when everyone realized that people went to FB.

  • Thoughts

    Hmm… interesting. First of all, I think most of the changes Facebook tries are to HELP the consumer. Remember when they did the automatic “enter” for messages? That caused a lot of mistakes and confusion.. so they took it away.
    I think the new profile sounds very cool. So I can scroll through my pictures, my comments, and statuses separately. I’m assuming it will be interchangeable from tabs at the top?
    Also I like the new News Feed!! People need to STOP COMPLAINING about things that are actually easier.. now instead of having Top News and Recent News in seperate tabs (which you have to scroll back up to change), it’s all one page.
    However: I do not care about Facebook Music or Facebook Face Chatting or Facebook Looking Like MSN. I hope he doesn’t take this too far….

  • Jackie

    As if the recent changes weren’t bad enough already (does anybody know how to make the scrolling status updates in the upper right-hand corner go away?). It makes me nostalgic for the time when Facebook was for keeping in touch with friends, reconnecting with people you haven’t seen in a while, and meeting new people with similar interests.

  • Alex

    People are going to start jumping to Google+ now. I can see it happening….

    • JB

      No way. That’s why Google put a big fat arrow on its homepage; no one is signing up at an alarming rate.

    • Beanie Weanie

      Looked Google+ over…first impression…didn’t like it. I may eat those words later on but I’m not running to it just because FB made a few changes. Life is about changes…grow up!

    • PJ

      Unfortunately Google+ isn’t that appealing right now. They’ve got some work to do if they want it to take off.

  • mauro

    Yes, that there is a proble with the new Face book, it won’t let you add e-mails for tour account, when you try it takes you back to home page.

  • bj

    My “top story” when I got home yesterday was a picture posted by somebody who only posts every few months. How did that become a “top story”? What’s the determining factor. This seemed really random and I just didn’t have the time to fool with it. I have enjoyed FB because, even if you’re busy, you can see everything at a glance. If that changes then it will be too cumbersome. I’m not married to the web and don’t have that much time.

  • Tcrab

    You had my interest until you mentioned Reed Hastings

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