Facebook’s Bret Taylor Was Surprised At What Kind Of Timeline Apps People Want

bret taylor facebook

[credit provider=”Wikimedia Commons” url=”http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Bret_Taylor_-_TechCrunch_Real-Time_Stream_Crunchup_-_2009.jpg”]

Tonight at an event in San Francisco, Facebook CTO Bret Taylor and other execs unveiled new “lifestyle” apps from more than 60 partners that will let users post new kinds of information to their Facebook timelines.The goal is to reflect the many interests of Facebook’s hundreds of millions of users, so everybody feels like their Timeline reflects their personality.

“When Facebook started, profiles reflected what Mark [Zuckerberg] was interested in when he was in college — music, movies, and books.”

But after f8, Taylor said, Facebook heard a lot of interest in apps about food, travel, fashion, and — believe it or not — programming. “I shouldn’t have been surprised. People like to share which open source projects they’re contributing to,” for instance.

Facebook’s platform products director Carl Sjogreen added another one: fitness. During testing, he found that a lot of Facebook employees wanted to share information about their workouts on their Timelines.

Developers can add custom actions for users to share on their Timelines. For instance, Foodspotting lets people post pictures of food they’re eating at a restaurant, then indicate that they “tried” or “loved” it. (There’s no “hated” button.)

The apps take advantage of Facebook’s new Open Graph platform, which the company announced last fall at its f8 developer’s conference. Early partners included music services like Spotify and Pandora, and news sites like the Washington Post, but now it’s open to everybody.

The apps announced today include super-hot clipboarding app Pinterest, LA-based fashion spotting app Pose, and food photo-sharing app Foodspotting.

Many more apps are in the pipeline, but Taylor told us that the company is screening and appoving each one individually to make sure the experience is good and users aren’t overwhelmed or annoyed with notifications — basically, Facebook is acting a lot like Apple does with its App Store.