I still remember the prehistoric days when every Facebook status update had to follow the word “is.” Needless to say, functionality has come a long way since then. At some point down the line, Facebook decided that status updates could be more than just a strictly present depiction of what you were doing or how you were feeling. A quote for instance, or image, or video or maybe just something you felt like telling the world at that particular second with no relativity to time. But with Facebook’s newest addition to the status update function, the question is why not both?
Like most updates, Facebook’s new change is rolling out slowly, but soon all Facebook users will have the option of adding an emotion or an activity to status updates. Much like you can presently tag your friends or a location in whatever it is you’re posting about, you can now also tag a movie or show you’re watching, a book you’re reading, the music you’re listening to, a meal you’re eating, a drink you’re drinking, or just simply how you’re feeling. Users will also be able to tag specific Facebook pages along with their activity (e.g. Watching [Tag]”Game Of Thrones”) or write in their own, similarly to in a user’s “Likes” section.
Why do we love this? It takes community to a whole new level by incorporating Pages into Facebook’s most iconic function in a manner that is fluid, logical and consistent with what has become social media’s greatest purpose: grouping people together. To continue with my previous example, I may have been able to tag “Game of Thrones” in a post before, however there would have been no way for Facebook’s Graph to determine whether or not I was currently in the act of watching it or just mentioning it for any number of reasons. By allowing me to tag “Game of Thrones” as an activity, Facebook’s Graph can now sort me and all of my friends who are also watching the new episode together and create a community experience in real time, the one ability that the platform has always lacked. It will serve the same purpose as a hashtag on Twitter, or a check-in on FourSquare or GetGlue, but what’s really impressive is that it solves an issue while still maintaining consistency with what makes Facebook, Facebook; a practically seamless addition that will ultimately make all the difference.
Our first question of course is whether or not brands will be able to join in on the fun too, but now we’re entering murky waters. We’ve already accepted the fact that brands can have an anthropomorphic presence in social with voice and personality. But can General Electric really be watching the new episode of “Game of Thrones?” Can Coca-Cola be listening to the new Rihanna song? Can Poland Spring be sad over the death of Margaret Thatcher? This conversation will require much more depth of discussion, but suffice to say, activities and emotions will bring brands into interesting territory. Would it even provide added value? Let us know what you think in the comments below!