Facebook makes big shift this week to passive content sharing

At it’s annual f8 conference today, Facebook will announce new services and features. At the core is a major change in how people use Facebook to discover, consume and share content.

CEO Mark Zuckerberg begins his keynote speech at 10 a.m. PT (1 p.m. ET). But already some details have leaked out.

AllThingsD reports that Facebook will begin tracking and notifying friends of everything a user reads, watches or listens to via Facebook. That is a huge shift from the current system where a person has to actively choose to “like” something to share it.

The new passive sharing would greatly increase the volume of content links streaming across Facebook, and presumably those read, watch and listen posts would become part of the new real-time “ticker” that Facebook debuted Wednesday along with a new News Feed.

I expect later today we’ll get a look at how exactly this will work, and have a better understanding of what it means for news organizations and other content creators. So stay tuned for updates here.

Update 1: Several news publishers, including The Daily, CNN, the Washington Post and the Huffington Post, are expected to introduce “Facebook editions” today, Forbes Jeff Bercovici reports.

Perhaps similar to the WSJ Social app that debuted this week, editions are expected to let readers discover and read news content entirely within the Facebook site.

The Washington Post Social Reader app on Facebook lets you read stories from the Post and its partners.

Update 2: Mark Zuckerberg confirmed on stage that the Washington Post, Yahoo News and The Daily are among the news organizations launching social news apps to run on Facebook.

Earlier: 5 things to know about the new Facebook Subscribe feature

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  • http://hearsay.it John Duncan

    At Hearsay we think that passive sharing is great, but that you should know that you’re doing it. Passive sharing means that you get to see what people are interested in themselves rather than what they think lots of other people will be interested in and that makes for a richer deeper amount of content being distributed socially. But my Facebook friends aren’t really the people I would choose to do that for me. And I’d like to be sure that I know what I’m doing. On Hearsay, it’s clear that this is the whole purpose and users don’t get scared. But on Facebook? Hmmmm.

  • Anonymous

    Good points, Douglas. I have heard similar concerns from others about the potential for oversharing or privacy incursions. Perhaps there will be enough user-level controls to manage this to your personal tastes, we’ll have to see.

  • http://www.douglascrets.com Douglas Crets

    So, are we all content marketers now? This seems like a function for someone who is managing a brand page or acting as a community manager, not someone who just wants to check up on friends. Why would I want to know something that granular about a friend? I don’t make friends with people and then try to understand every thing that they do over time. I engage with them only on the level of what makes sense to me. It sounds like we are being pushed to socially discover things about our friends we never knew. But aren’t we supposed to never know some things about our friends? Is this Mark Zuckerberg’s process of self exploration pushed on to everyone who uses Facebook, the extension of his being? Crazy, right?