-by Seun Ajanwachuku
June 20th Press releases is fast approaching and there are a lot of speculations hovering over what Facebook has to offer on this very special day. This announcement of a new product by Facebook couldn’t have come at a better time. A lot of people find it interesting that Facebook is releasing a new technology that aims at doing what Google reader, which is schedule to shut down soon failed to do. It could be a sort of “trending articles on Facebook” feature, or a more full-blown RSS reader-style product. The event invite sent out by Facebook, which was first spotted by Joanna Stern of ABC News, says “A small team has been working on a big idea. Join us for coffee and learn about a new product.” This message is a little odd in nature and takes some decoding to figure out what it might be communicating. The invite was sent out using a paper mail with coffee stain on it. Where else do we see coffee stains? You got that right, on news paper when you spill it while reading the newspaper. Keyword here are hashtags; this is how we think Facebook plans to make this happen. Cutting a statement from a Facebook Hashtag annoucement blog post, ”Hashtags are just the first step to help people more easily discover what others are saying about a specific topic and participate in public conversations. We’ll continue to roll out more features in the coming weeks and months.” With this kind of feature in place and the large database of information of all their users, Facebook can create a system that allows people to see latest news that they are most likely to be interested in. Even better, using Hastags, users can share this news with their friends and family.
Whatever Facebook has in mind, I certainly hope it will make it easier for their users to access information that matters (news) and not get turned into an advertising tool that will further turn off their users. Facebook is all about connecting you to people, things, and information you care about, and news is by definition is what people care about. One thing is clear, if the launch of this new tool becomes a success, unlike the launch of Facebook Home; people might potentially spend more time on Facebook and also get exposed to more relevant ads and information that fits their Facebook profile.