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Facebook has launched new timeline apps through Open Graph, offering users another way of sharing what they are doing with friends.
As part of the announcement last night it launched 60 new apps from brands such as Ticketmaster, Pinterest and TripAdvisor.
A blog post announcing the new feature said “you can now enhance your timeline with apps that help you tell your story, whether you love to cook, eat, travel, run, or review movies.”
Using Facebook’s Open Graph platform, any brand can now build an app that sits in a user's timeline and lets their friends know what they are doing.
As with the existing Spotify and Guardian apps, updates will appear in their friends’ tickers and news feeds. Users retain control over who can see it and how many updates it sends out.
An important addition is the use of new verbs to describe what a Facebook user is doing - instead of just 'liking' something, you can now let your friends know what you are cooking, watching, reading, or where you are running.
Techlightenment enterprise solutions director Mike Keating said that more specific interaction with users will prove to be a valuable tool for brands.
Brands can use those customer endorsements to drive organic traffic into their sites and monetise apps from increased views and purchases. Facebook's aggregations of consumers' activities will provide a great platform for engagement as users will see how multiple friends have interacted with brands."
The 60 apps in the initial launch include recognisable brands in areas that already include a social element.
The blog post highlights shopping and fashion apps from Pinterest and Pose, a cooking app from Foodily that lets you share your latest dishes, and Gogobot and TripAdvisor apps for travellers.
Fashion, food and travel brands appear to be perfectly placed to make use of these new apps as people already use Facebook to share this sort of content – think how many holiday photos or status updates about food you see each week.
Keating said that all brands that thrive on personal interactions or high social value items will work well with Open Graph.
We've seen the success of music and news and now a wider range of markets can get involved. Travel's a great opportunity, covering all stages of the travel experience from researching, listing options and making a choice, through to telling friends you've booked and then enjoying the experience."
Facebook has already proven that apps can be valuable tool for brands looking to grow their online audience – Spotify added 7m users following its Facebook tie-in, while 4m people have added the Guardian’s Facebook app.
It is now down to other brands to design apps that users will want to use on a daily basis and, more importantly, want to share with their friends.