Emil was a reporter for The Next Web between 2012 and 2014. Over the years, he has covered the tech industry for multiple publications, incl Emil was a reporter for The Next Web between 2012 and 2014. Over the years, he has covered the tech industry for multiple publications, including Ars Technica, Neowin, TechSpot, ZDNet, and CNET. Stay in touch via Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.
Facebook on Wednesday announced a significant change to its status update feature for US users: you can now express what you’re watching, reading, listening to, eating, drinking, and how you’re feeling with unique tags. Furthermore, if you include certain Pages in your update, they will automatically show up on your Timeline. This change is rolling out to US users “starting this week.”
Facebook offers up an example. If you are watching Jurassic Park and want to tell your Facebook friends about it, your shared post will now contain the movie icon and a link to the movie’s page. Here’s how it looks:
Facebook says when you do this, Jurassic Park now gets added to Movies section on your Timeline. The company says TV shows, movies, and books will appear in their corresponding sections:
This might be a slight problem as users may not realize they are essentially adding pages to their profile. Unsurprisingly, Facebook is trying to head off privacy worries with the following statement: “These updates, and the stories added to your timeline, respect the privacy settings you choose for your post.”
My colleague Ken Yeung already has the feature and has graciously offered a glimpse at how it works for those who don’t have it or can’t get it (remember: US only until further notice). First up, there’s a new smiley face button that when clicked, bring up a new menu where you can add what you’re feeling, watching, reading, listening to, drinking, or eating:
Selecting one of them lets you specify what you’re doing. For example, if Ken wants to share he is watching “The Lion King,” Facebook will display the following (Ken has his movies section restricted on his Timeline, so the movie won’t actually show up there, but the status update will of course still work):
This doesn’t happen all the time however, most likely because some items simply do not have official Facebook Pages. For example, here’s Ken eating:
It’s easy how Facebook will one day be able to take these status updates and sell ads around them. If someone chooses to share that they’re eating pizza a lot, Facebook may want to sell them ads (including promotional coupons) to Pizza Hut, Dominoes, Papa John’s.
More broadly, Facebook is expanding on its list of things that users “like” even when they don’t explicitly hit a Like button. That’s hugely important and once again can potentially be very valuable in a way that goes beyond what users simply search for.
Top Image Credit: Asif Akbar
Get the TNW newsletter
Get the most important tech news in your inbox each week.