By Todd Carpenter, Director of Digital Engagement, National Association of REALTORS®
If you are my Facebook friend, you might have noticed that I’m listening to Pass the Mic by the Beastie Boys while writing this post. I didn’t actively share this; Spotify posted this information on my wall “for” me.
Welcome to the new Facebook.
Erica Christoffer introduced us to Facebook Timelines last week and Jimmy Makin wrote a comprehensive how-to on Inman Next as well. But while Timelines are the “sizzle” that came out of last week’s Facebook Developers Conference, the “steak” is Facebook’s Open Graph:
The goal is to create apps that provide “frictionless sharing” to your Facebook wall. It could include what music you’re listening to, what movies or television shows you’re watching, what Web pages you are reading, how hard you worked out this morning, what products you’re buying online and even what you’re cooking for dinner. All of this can be shared on your Facebook wall without your active and manual consent. Not everyone thinks this is a great idea. What do you think?
The addition of Timelines shines even more of a light on your social activities. We’ve always known that what happens on Facebook is there forever, for all to see, but up until now, the passage of time made past activities on Facebook difficult to see. No more. Your initial reaction to Timelines will likely vary based on whether or not you’re young enough to have participated in Facebook while you were still in college. Will your future clients appreciate your ability to do a keg stand? Or perhaps you were very vocal about your political views, or maybe you went through a bad breakup and decided you should vent to your friends. All the highlights and drama will be conveniently indexed on your Timeline for all of your friends to see.
There will be a considerable backlash to these changes. Many will argue that the platform is too intrusive. But those shallow connections to people you barely know are causing far more angst than the platform itself. As social marketers, real estate professionals walk a tightrope of personal/professional transparency. Many have used their personal Facebook accounts to cast a wide net in building their sphere of influence. This is not the way Facebook envisions the best use of their platform. Facebook wants personal profiles to be more and more personal.
It’s time to take a hard look at what it means to friend someone. It’s not a numbers game. Your Facebook friends are going to know more about you than most of you are comfortable with. Filtering what you share is going to get harder. The real solution will be to apply higher standards to who you connect with online.
Todd Carpenter, Managing Director of the Data Analytics Group at NAR
I'm a twenty year veteran of the real estate and mortgage industry, focusing on technology that fosters relationships between professionals and consumers. I am a subject matter expert in data analytics, online consumer trends, enterprise social media strategy, listing data, agent ratings, and public facing MLS portals.