A wide variety of media partners and news publishers have partnered with Facebook to allow uses to publish content to the site that can be immediately consumed by friends.
When users listen to a song on Spotify, watch a film on Netflix, read an article on News Corp’s The Daily, or use products by any other partners, that activity will be automatically published to the news feed Ticker and profile Timeline. Users can then click on the Ticker story to load the corresponding app and hear the song, watch the film, etc.
Previously, users had both grant an app initial permissions upon install and fill out a sharing prompt every time they wanted to publish something to Facebook. Now, users will grant a new type of permission that allows an app the ability to instantly publish activity without showing a prompt.
There are some privacy implications of this new app sharing scheme. While users might be comfortable sharing most of their Spotify listening habits, they might occasionally want to listen privately. Facebook could potentially introduce some sort of “incognito mode” to allow this, but there’s no indication of such a feature yet. Users might also grant persistent permission to an app without understanding what it means, or forget they’ve done so, and get angry when they see their activity published.
In addition to publishing posts to the Ticker, activity will be published to special content tabs on the profile TImeline. When users interact with music, video, and text content, they’ll have the ability to use new feedback options: Listened, Watched, and Read. More specific than simply Liking a friend’s update, these buttons will let users share how they’ve also consumed the content.
This will create big new opportunities for marketers and advertisers. Those using the Facebook Ads API or that work with Facebook’s Direct Sales ad team will be able to target users according to their interaction with content. Previously advertisers could only target user that formally Liked a Page, and had no way to target users based on their Likes of news feed content.
Media apps will launch today, and other lifestyle apps and games that depend on the Timeline will be rolled out alongside the redesigned profile over the next few weeks.