Facebook adds option for star ratings on content in Timeline sections and apps

Facebook today completed its global rollout of the new Timeline design with sections for music, movies, books, fitness and more. Now, it will begin letting users rate content from those sections or from third-party apps.

Facebook says users have added nearly 200 million items to their sections daily. Since Timeline sections launched in March, more than 17 billion songs have been added to people’s music sections through Likes and listening activity from apps. With the option for star ratings on books, movies and TV shows, users will have even more ways to engage with content and add to Facebook’s burgeoning entertainment platform.

The data could improve Graph Search results, News Feed relevancy, ad targeting and other components of Facebook, while allowing third-party apps to be even more personalized and offer users better recommendations. Developers can also build in features to allow users to rate content through their apps using the “rate” action, which was recently added to Open Graph.

A user’s ratings will appear in their Timeline sections under the items they’ve rated, as well as in News Feed stories.

So far, it doesn’t seem ratings will be aggregated and displayed elsewhere, such as on a film’s fan page. Restaurant and other place ratings currently only appear in the Local Search section of the mobile app. App ratings appear in the App Center and when users hover over the app’s name from within News Feed. We can imagine Facebook will eventually incorporate ratings for places and content into more areas of the site when it has a greater number of ratings. For now, though, page owners don’t seem to get any information about how many people added their content to Timeline sections or what they’re average rating is.

On the other hand, Facebook is giving developers more insights about user engagement with sections. App Insights will include analytics on Timeline section impressions and referral clicks to an app. Developers can create a custom section for their app, but it must be reviewed by Facebook and users have to opt in before it can be displayed on their Timeline.

Related: Q&A with Facebook Manager, Strategic Partnerships Ime Archibong