Liz Gannes

Recent Posts by Liz Gannes

“Read. Watch. Listen.”: Facebook’s Official Motto for f8

Facebook will unveil its next massive initiative to socialize the Web at its f8 developer conference on Thursday. A key focus of this year’s annual event has been well reported: Content.

And that’s the way the social networking giant will play it at the confab, using the basic phrasing, “Read. Watch. Listen.”

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s f8 keynote will include a huge package of wide-ranging news, video and music partnerships, and a structure for sharing content activity inside and outside of Facebook, sources said.

Many parts of these products have been leaked or anticipated, but Facebook is grouping them together as a larger push.

“This is really about extending its sharing tools and influence by a factor of 10,” said one person briefed on the plans. “Facebook has talked about socializing the Internet, but this is actually the biggest step to doing it.”

Sources said “Read” partners include big online publishers such as Yahoo, while “Watch” will be a range of Web video sites and “Listen” will be music services.

While Facebook has used its Facebook Connect to do that in part, the biggest success story of the massive platform, which launched at the first f8 in 2007, has been social gaming — and mostly, it’s been Zynga. Facebook has for some time been trying to extend and improve on that model for other businesses, and its “Read. Watch. Listen.” initiative is its most concerted effort yet.

Many of the implicit and explicit content sharing tools at f8 will have a precedent in those Facebook has built for gaming, according to sources familiar with Facebook’s plans. For instance, look for a live-updating sidebar of friends’ content consumption activity, just as the site offers for games, and separate from the news feed wall.

Facebook also hopes to give a broader context to the bits and pieces of information shared by its users by aggregating them, sources said.

Please see the disclosure about Facebook in my ethics statement.

[Image courtesy of Flickr.]

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