Liz Gannes

Recent Posts by Liz Gannes

Interview: Why Facebook Is Moving Beyond the “Like” (And Why This Isn’t Beacon 2.0)

Two years after the Facebook “Like” button launched for publishers and brands, for a user to “Like” something has become such a generic and widespread thing that it hardly means anything.

But with Facebook’s new Timeline apps, users don’t necessarily have to press those “Like” buttons anymore. They can choose to share with Facebook everything that they consume, purchase, record, create or bookmark.

Facebook thinks its users will get value out of having a centralized visual record of their online and offline activity that friends and family can see and comment on (and, yes, “Like”).

These new Open Graph apps are likely to give rise to way more sharing than had occurred on Facebook before, which is not something many people think they want or need.

It’s the responsibility of Facebook’s Carl Sjogreen, who is director of product management for the company’s platform, to give application creators the tools and settings that ensure that all this recording and sharing of activities is appealing to users.

He explained to us tonight how Facebook is going beyond the “Like,” and why the new Timeline apps aren’t a repeat of the much-hated Facebook Beacon.

At the top of Sjogreen’s priority list is respecting users’ privacy and expectations, he said. (That may come as a surprise to the many Facebook skeptics out there, but you can watch my video interview and judge his sincerity for yourself.)

“No one should be surprised by what’s shared,” Sjogreen said. “That’s not good for us, it’s not good for users, it’s not good for our application partners.”

Please see the disclosure about Facebook in my ethics statement.

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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald