It's been said that Facebook will make an announcement about a new product this Thursday. There has been some speculation as to what that product might be, with the most recent source coming to TechCrunch and saying that the announcement will have to do with Instagram adding videos. Earlier predictions assumed Facebook's new product would be a News Reader. Perhaps the announcement will include both possibilities, or maybe it will be something else entirely. But why would any of these choices be a good thing for Facebook? Here's what I think:
It was just early last month when Instagram introduced face tagging, but that shouldn't stop this simplistic site from wanting to add additional features to stay ahead of its competition. Honestly, the timing for Instagram video is pretty much spot on as Twitter's Vine user base has been growing exponentially, especially since the app recently became available to Android users.
If Facebook really wants to blow away the Vine competition, they will have to up the ante. What kinds of editing tools will the Instagram videos include? As Instagram is known for its filters, could video filters set it apart from Vine and make it more appealing to its audience? Going along the same lines, how long will the Instagram videos be? Currently, Vines can only be 6 seconds long. Will Instagram follow suit with micro videos?
facebook news reader
In March of this year Google announced that it would be powering down its Reader in July. With Google doing away with its Reader, Facebook has a huge opportunity to swoop in and become the king of gathered content. Perhaps the site's recent implementation of hashtags was a way to prepare for a news reader, and with over 4.75 billion items of content shared daily on Facebook, the company has a pretty good starting point as far as sources go.
But can we really trust Facebook for topical RSS solutions? Will the information provided be mostly ad-driven? The bottom dollar goal is painfully obvious with Facebook, and its users have only become more aware that the company stores and shares private information. Could wary users look elsewhere for an RSS feed?
But these ideas are speculation and hearsay from sources, will Facebook announce something else entirely? I, for one, hope so! Sometimes these press meetings promising to announce "something new and big" turn out to be more like press meeetings with a company saying, "Hey, you know that feature that another social site has? We just added the exact same thing!"
It's nice when sites add features from other sites that we enjoy, but it's even better when an added feature is made unique to its site. In other words, it's great to create an RSS feed, but brand it with Facebook and make sure that it's something that really adds value for your users. Consider putting a twist on the new feature that others haven't thought of yet. This will really put you ahead of the game.
**Update** Watch live here: http://new.livestream.com/accounts/4371393/events/2174163
Are you looking forward to Facebook's announcement on Thursday? Let us know in the comments below!
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