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Facebook Timeline apps benefit UK companies

The Facebook blog has announced a number of new Timeline apps. Facebook's Carl Sjogreen said you can "enhance your timeline with apps that help you tell your story, whether you love to cook, eat, travel, run, or review movies". He then provided examples: food lovers sharing recipes using Foodly, and travellers bringing a virtual passport to their timelines through Gogobot or TripAdvisor.

Although big online services tend to start in the US and grow from there, Facebook has taken care to ensure its apps have worldwide relevance, and many of the 60 new apps include those with British and European roots, such as Auto Trader (social car buying), Lyst (fashion finds), Soundcloud (upload and share sounds), Mixcloud (music discovery and playback), Artfinder (artwork discovery and identification), and s[edition] (art collection showcasing and 'gifting').

Naturally, the companies with new apps are enthusiastic about Timeline integration. Artfinder CEO Spencer Hyman said he was "delighted that people will be able to snap what they see in a gallery using our iPhone app, have the artwork identified and share it with their friends on their Facebook Timeline," and s[edition] CEO Robert Norton said the company's new app "offers art lovers an immediate and social way to share their passion for art by leading contemporary artists with friends, and for those friends to discover a whole new world of collecting art at prices that most people can afford".

Ian MacDonald, Head of Consumer Marketing at Auto Trader, remarked: "The social web has made the traditional 'peer opinion' that influences peoples' buying behaviour more important than ever". He said Auto Trader's Facebook integration would enable people to "quickly canvas the opinion of their friends, discover new cars, and make their Timelines even more reflective of their lives and ambitions". However, it's also clear that people are being encouraged more than ever to fully display the minutiae of their lives online, which will doubtless lead to privacy concerns in the future.