Facebook wall update coming tonight

A window on front of Facebook offices in Palo Alto

I met with a few people who work at Facebook today (my first meetings).

Learned some stuff:

1. Facebook’s first office was above Jing Jing in downtown Palo Alto, which Dave Winer made famous for Spicy Noodles. Of course we ate there and had Spicy Noodles.
2. The Facebook platform is getting a small update tonight (it’s updated once a week, I learned). Tonight’s update that developers will notice? That you can put different things into messages on the wall. If you haven’t visited my Facebook Profile yet, the wall is an area where you can leave messages for me and anyone else who visits my profile. Expected to come onto this? Music (iLike, last week, already added music choices to messages sent inside Facebook). Video. And other media types. The wall will be open to third-party developers to plug different media into and integrate into. This makes the platform integrate better into common pieces on the profile page. End users might not see a difference tonight, but developers will see new APIs. Developers should add the Developers Application to their Facebook Profile, which would bring you to the news about new APIs coming. To add the app, visit the Facebook Developers page and click “getting started.”
3. They are seeing a lot of growth. Both in usage, as well as employees. If you’re a hot computer scientist they are hiring.
4. They are continuing to move to a wider demographic than just college students, which should have been obvious to anyone who is following their moves over the past year. I told them that I have already seen that, most of my 3856 friends aren’t in college anymore. They are also taking over quite a few buildings in downtown Palo Alto near the Stanford University Campus (more than three buildings already, with more needed).
5. There is a limit to the number of friends you can have: 5,000. This is there because of technical limitations. After you reach 5,000 you have to remove someone before you can add someone else as a friend.
6. People with thousands of friends are called “whales” by Facebook employees. Only a small percentage of their user base has more than 1,000 friends.
7. They expect many more “useful” apps in the next few months. Apps aimed at just getting spread around (one I don’t accept is the Ninja app) are probably not going to be as successful as a new wave of apps that actually provide some value come on board (my favorite example there is the Google Shared Items App).
8. For employees who live within a mile of Facebook’s headquarters they subsidize your housing. Translation: if you hang around in Palo Alto chances are pretty high that you’ll meet someone who works at Facebook.
9. They are pretty careful about discussing future capabilities. I asked about new advertising platforms and other questions about the platform (like whether a new API would come out that would allow applications to talk with each other) and got “we can’t discuss future directions.”
10. The leadership at Facebook is young. I knew that since I remember listening to Chris Putnam’s music when he was 16 (he’s now one of Facebook’s best developers — his team built the video app, which is really awesome — and he just turned 21).

Anyway, I’ve come away even more impressed with the team here. This is definitely the most interesting company that I’ve met in the past few years and can’t wait to bring you more news from inside Facebook.

UPDATE: Some people are misunderstanding me here. The update will let users add new datatypes to their messages on Facebook walls. It doesn’t mean that apps will be able to write their own messages to walls.

77 thoughts on “Facebook wall update coming tonight

  1. are there any websites out there that have stuff you can copy n paste e.g videos, pics, comments and put on to the fun walls and etc?

  2. are there any websites out there that have stuff you can copy n paste e.g videos, pics, comments and put on to the fun walls and etc?

  3. Yawn. More of the typical shilling from you Scoble. This kind of coverage is worse than Mashable’s lack of interesting news. There is a world out there outside of Palo Alto and Cupertino. Perhaps you should go discover it and enlighten yourself.

  4. Yawn. More of the typical shilling from you Scoble. This kind of coverage is worse than Mashable’s lack of interesting news. There is a world out there outside of Palo Alto and Cupertino. Perhaps you should go discover it and enlighten yourself.

  5. “Jing Jing which Dave Weiner made famous for spicy noodles”????

    Aw c’mon. This is such a narrow definition of famous. I can remember having Dan Dan noodles or whatever they were called at the time when Jing Jing was on University Ave in its original location. I recall eating them there with Peter Deutsch, Adele Goldberg, Larry Tessler and the rest of the PARC Smalltalk crew in ’80-’82. Does prehistory not count as fame?

    Or perhaps my memory is false, and it was the late 80′s Vivek, Dale, Jomei and the Tibco crew, or the early 90′s with Susan Angebrandt, Chris Kent and the DEC WRL folks or the Interval folks.

    But c’mon, history doesn’t start in the year 2000.
    Fogeyly,
    Marc

  6. “Jing Jing which Dave Weiner made famous for spicy noodles”????

    Aw c’mon. This is such a narrow definition of famous. I can remember having Dan Dan noodles or whatever they were called at the time when Jing Jing was on University Ave in its original location. I recall eating them there with Peter Deutsch, Adele Goldberg, Larry Tessler and the rest of the PARC Smalltalk crew in ’80-’82. Does prehistory not count as fame?

    Or perhaps my memory is false, and it was the late 80′s Vivek, Dale, Jomei and the Tibco crew, or the early 90′s with Susan Angebrandt, Chris Kent and the DEC WRL folks or the Interval folks.

    But c’mon, history doesn’t start in the year 2000.
    Fogeyly,
    Marc

  7. Robert that’s an *excellent* answer and I’m taking it to heart. I also prefer Twitter’s “social nomenclature” because it seems to match the way most of us are behaving in the social network space.

  8. Robert that’s an *excellent* answer and I’m taking it to heart. I also prefer Twitter’s “social nomenclature” because it seems to match the way most of us are behaving in the social network space.

  9. “If you try to limit it to “real friends” you’ll be missing a lot of the power of these things.”

    Hmm, conversley, you miss a lot of the power of these things when you base your friends list solely on real life, close friends. Facebook becomes a phenomenal tool, but just for a different purpose to what your usage is.

  10. “If you try to limit it to “real friends” you’ll be missing a lot of the power of these things.”

    Hmm, conversley, you miss a lot of the power of these things when you base your friends list solely on real life, close friends. Facebook becomes a phenomenal tool, but just for a different purpose to what your usage is.

  11. Joe: in social networks a “friend” is someone you want in your network. No more, no less.

    If you try to limit it to “real friends” you’ll be missing a lot of the power of these things.

    I wish they’d stop calling these things “friends,” by the way. Twitter has done just that. People in Twitter are “followers” for people who watch you and “following” for people you are watching. Much better name for these things.

  12. Joe: in social networks a “friend” is someone you want in your network. No more, no less.

    If you try to limit it to “real friends” you’ll be missing a lot of the power of these things.

    I wish they’d stop calling these things “friends,” by the way. Twitter has done just that. People in Twitter are “followers” for people who watch you and “following” for people you are watching. Much better name for these things.

  13. Robert what’s the appropriate way to define “friend”. I have been confused about adding people to facebook thinking Facebook seems to want me to really “know them” to add them though I already have some folks on there I have not met. I’d say the more the merrier, but that will get out of hand quickly.

    What is your rule for adding friends?

  14. Robert what’s the appropriate way to define “friend”. I have been confused about adding people to facebook thinking Facebook seems to want me to really “know them” to add them though I already have some folks on there I have not met. I’d say the more the merrier, but that will get out of hand quickly.

    What is your rule for adding friends?

Comments are closed.