As the year comes to a close and I reflect on the work I’ve done, I can’t help but think about how different Facebook was at the start of 2010.
Facebook’s own timeline isn’t very helpful, except to show that Facebook gained 200 million users since December 2009. Even Flowtown, maker of many great infographics, failed to show just how much Facebook did this year. That’s why I put together this comprehensive, but probably still not complete, timeline of Facebook in 2010.
Some changes helped marketers, others seemed to be direct attacks against us. The introduction of the Open Graph Protocol and social plugins like the Like Button have, in only a few months, begun to reshape the face of the web. With Places and Deals, we have major new features to incorporate in our campaigns. We have more analytics about the Pages we manage and the apps we implement. We can share larger photos and Like our fans’ comments. And Facebook ad targeting is becoming increasingly more effective.
There were many other additions, tweaks and redesigns that have changed the way we all consume and interact with Facebook. It’s mind-blowing to think of what next year could hold.
But I’m excited to find out.
Facebook Timeline 2010
- Added post insights for authenticated Page admins, including impressions and feedback %. This feature became available to all Pages in November
- Added ability to reply to comments via email (less important now with more people accessing Facebook through feature-rich mobile apps)
- Started offering Email API to developers so applications could request permission to send you emails
- Introduced a Facebook toolbar for Internet Explorer, available in 16 languages
- Introduced beta phase of Facebook Credits for users to purchase virtual items in applications like FarmVille, and began to accept payment through PayPal
- Redesigned homepage to emphasize search and content creation
- Updated photo uploader to make it easier to create albums
- Integrated Facebook chat with desktop clients like AIM
- Increased photo size by 20%, allowing for photos up to 720 pixels (this would increase yet again in September)
- Introduced instant search results as you type
- Introduced Open Graph protocol, essentially allowing any web page to be treated like a Facebook Page that users could “Like” without visiting Facebook. This “Like Button for the web” and other social plugins were added to more than 2 million sites in only five months.
- Introduced Instant Personalization, which allows Facebook integration with third-party sites to provide custom experiences for each user. For instance, see what your friends say about restaurants on Yelp, what they listen to on Pandora, where they’ve traveled to on Trip Advisor, what movies they like on Rotten Tomatoes, etc. The controversial feature is still quite misunderstood, so Facebook recently added a new page to explain it.
- Introduced new insights for pages and applications, adding more data and better visualization
- Added Community Pages with information from Wikipedia
- Added ability to create Events from the homepage
- Launched 0.facebook.com, a simplified mobile version of the site that can be accessed free to international users with certain carriers
- Changed the privacy settings dashboard in wake of controversy from the Open Graph and Instant Personalization announcements (Facebook claims to have simplified the process for controlling privacy, but the interface still needs work)
- Added ability to Like individual comments
- Announced milestone of reaching 500 million active users, along with Facebook Stories to commemorate
- Introduced Questions, a Q&A feature that allows you to pose and answer questions to and from the entire Facebook community. The product was supposed to roll out to all U.S. users by October, but has not yet.
- Began combining News Feed stories when more than one friend shares the same link
- Closed the virtual gift shop
- Introduced Places, allowing users to check into locations and tag their friends, a la Foursquare
- Introduced new layout and features for publishing blog-like Notes
- Created single page photo browsing so photos appear automatically when you scroll, instead of requiring clicks to the next page
- Added ability to change privacy settings via mobile site and to control privacy of individual posts through the mobile app
- Made back-end changes to stabilize Facebook Chat
- Began combining News Feed stories about birthday wall posts into one
- Launched Discovery Browser to help users find new pages to Like
- Introduced higher resolution photos (8x larger), new uploader, group tagging and, for some users, lightbox viewing
- Expanded Facebook Credits program to more developers and introduced new ways to pay for credits, including gift certificates available at retail outlets like Target
- Redesigned Groups to promote sharing among smaller groups of friends by providing group chat, group Docs, email notifications and tight privacy settings
- Added ability to download your information so you can get your profile, photos, wall posts, messages, etc., in a zip file.
- Introduced one-time passwords and remote signout to improve account security
- Partnered with Bing to provide social search results
- Partnered with Skype to allow video chat with Facebook friends and offer News Feed and status update functions directly in Skype
- Introduced Friendship Pages
- Announced Single Sign-On, which is like Facebook Connect for mobile apps
- Introduced Deals, an addition that lets businesses offer coupons or other deals to people checking in with Facebook Places
- Announced new Messages product, which combines text, chat and email to make communication more seamless. This feature has not been released to all users.
- Redesigned profile pages, prompting users to share more information about themselves
- Added ability to change privacy and account settings via mobile app
- Introduced photo tagging suggestions based on facial recognition technology