Q&A with Facebook Strategic Partnerships Manager Ime Archibong

In the first half of 2013, Facebook has made a number of moves to improve its platform for entertainment and lifestyle applications.

New Timeline sections give users a place to save and display their favorite books, movies, TV shows and music. Developers can use new common Open Graph actions like “want to watch” and “want to read.” Users can share what they’re listening to, eating, feeling and more through structured status updates. Graph Search lets them find content and recommendations through friends and others. And a deal with Rovi gives Facebook a detailed database of information about movies, TV shows and celebrities

We spoke to Facebook Manager, Strategic Partnerships Ime Archibong about the new opportunities for entertainment apps on the platform, Facebook’s expanding role in content discovery, and how Open Graph can represent our offline activities and memories. The following is an edited transcript from that interview.

Inside Facebook: So it seems like a good time to talk to you now with the the new Timeline sections, News Feed and Graph Search all launched. Let’s start by talking about the state of Facebook’s entertainment platform.

Ime Archibong: I’m really excited about the suite of assets that are available for apps right now, in the entertainment space particularly and in the music space, which is one of the things I’m most excited about. You have things that are great for users. Take sections in the Timeline redesign that came out. Users now have a home for where their music consumption goes, and I’m pretty excited about that.

News Feed continues to be an important piece of distribution property for apps. With the redesign and the prominence of the music section coming out, that’s another huge asset. Graph Search. I think we’re still a ways away from where we’re going to go with Graph Search, but there’s no mystery that Open Graph actions will be showing up in Graph Search at some point, and that’s going to be a good source of traffic for these entertainment apps.

And I like what we’re doing in mobile right now. The new pages redesign is slick, it’s user-centric. If you think of that as a music artist’s home base in the Facebook ecosystem, and as we make it more engaging for users, it’s a good piece of real estate for artists themselves. I look at all these assets starting to stack up and how they come together and make us a meaningful distribution platform for these apps.

What were some of the observations and insights since the start of Open Graph apps and Timeline that that led to these changes like the new About page sections?

One of hypotheses we had when we started with apps like Spotify for instance was that people want to share and publish back what they’re listening to in a way that will round out their identity. We had a decent home for it with profile and aggregations that were showing on Timeline, but now we have a great home for it, and we’re really honoring that content. Someone can dig down deep and see what’s trending with you right now, what you’ve been listening to a lot, or get a good snapshot of what historically is important to you. That just feels right to me.

I moved a few weeks ago, and I was trying to downsize so I took all my books, all my CDs, all my DVDs and I literally went to my Timeline section and put in “Catcher in the Rye,” “Heart of Darkness” and so on. And then I put these things in a box to give to goodwill.

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