The Internet’s transition from user-generated content to user-curated content continues as Facebook adds some new apps to its timeline. The social network announced in a blog post this morning that timeline apps will be available for Foodspotting, Foodily, Ticketmaster, Pinterest, Rotten Tomatoes, Pose, Kobo, Gogobot, TripAdvisor and other emerging social networks.
The idea is that the timeline will make it easier to share your interests directly from the sites that specialize in them. You can give your friends travel tips from Gogobot and TripAdvisor, share recipes from Foodily and Foodspotting, argue about which movies you’re loving and hating from Rotten Tomatoes, get friends to buy tickets to a show on Ticketmaster, recommend a book from Kobo, share clothes from Pose and just about anything that catches your eye on Pinterest. If you want to. Not everyone likes having all of their activity from other sites posted to Facebook.
But the Facebook timeline app can be a gold mine for an emerging social network. Compared to Google+ and Twitter, Facebook still has a good share of the eyeballs, with 800 million users to date. When early adopters venture into new or more specialized networks, this activity will be visible to the Facebook community, which is now a fairly mainstream audience. This worked really well for Spotify, which allows users to post their playlists while they listen. The digital music streaming service now has 1.4 million subscribers and counting.
And for people who like to use different social networks, combining all activity into one click simplifies the process of finding something on one site and sharing it on another. Sure, it’s not as innocent as just typing what you like without a third party involved, but the personalized Facebook ads next to your timeline should have clued you in that there are flies on your wall, anyway.
I gave it a test-drive on Pinterest, picking an image at random and selecting the “Facebook” box next to the button that says “Pin It.” The image landed safely on my Facebook page while I continued to browse the online pinboard. I did have to agree to the slightly creepy “Facebook will post as you” disclaimer that comes with a lot of social media apps, but so far, it’s only posted the images I’ve told it to.
I also checked out TripAdvisor and Pose, where I noticed that you can also see what your Facebook friends are up to on those sites while you’re there. In the case of TripAdvisor, they’ll show your name and profile picture to your friends instead of your anonymous Internet handle, which is only bad if that’s where you go to vent your frustrations with the hospitality industry and your life.
My money is on Pinterest getting the most use out of this app, since it’s already a “look at this” kind of site. And considering how much people love to post about their food on Facebook, Foodily and Foodspotting might not be far behind.