Say what you like about Mark Zuckerberg but one thing is for certain, he has balls. Big, shiny brass ones. Here he is, the creator and CEO of the world’s largest media company. It has over 800 million users and…well you know the rest, you saw the film. So what does he do? He fundamentally changes the thing. He doesn’t rest on any laurels; he doesn’t sit back and count his billions. He listens to his community and he gives them what they want even if they don’t know what that is.
The changes announced at the annual F8 conference on Thursday are fundamental. Essentially he has allowed everyone to share what they are doing without having to use the Like button all the time. This means that you can now share what you are doing in short hand as well as where you are and what you actually like. But to entice you in to more sharing he has given the user a rationale to share. The timeline is your life stream, a compilation of everything you have done, everything you have said, everywhere you have been and every piece of content you have shared or has been shared with you.
The result? Well, it’s 800 million people doing a damn good impression of the book 1984. But also, it is a far more engaging experience. The banal and often annoying shares will start to fade away and you can start to have a more real and enjoyable multi-media experience prompted by the people you connect with.
For the marketers on Facebook this presents new challenges and new opportunities. For the brands that went with the broadcast mentality of “How many
people can we reach with a share?” strategy, you have a problem. Spammy updates and non relevant ones are confined to a secondary news feed on the top right. Only the updates that have content and are deemed relevant by both Facebook and the user will get life on the main update page. This means you have to be good. This means you have to have actual relevance to the user. Spam is dead.
“The Zuck” has made a hell of a move. One that could end any competitor’s reach into the market. To survive in this space any longer Google+ will need some real innovation…..and some big brass balls.