Facebook's f8 Conference — More Media, More Commerce, More Profit

The social networking site is expected to unveil a significant redesign

Already peeved about this week’s changes to Facebook?

That redesigned newsfeed is just the beginning, so get ready for more more more.

The world’s biggest social networking site hosts its annual f8 developers’ conference Thursday and it has been rumored that it will unveil a significant redesign of the site.

One of the biggest presumed changes has been rumored for months — that Facebook will expand its media offerings. As the New York Times’ Ben Sisario confirmed with certain sources earlier this week, Mark Zuckerberg’s company will unite with the likes of Spotify and MOG to bring music services to the site. Facebook is understandably mum on the subject.

As Sisario explains, the challenge for these music sites is that while appearing on Facebook may lure in a whole new audience, it may also undermine their efforts to turn a profit through subscriptions.

One can only assume Facebook would combine this new media element with its powerful social networking features, which is why reports about new buttons make sense. In addition to being able to “like’ something, you may now say that you “listened,” “watched” or “read.”

Watched? So where are those videos coming from? That remains unclear.

The New York Post’s Claire Atkinson claimed Facebook has a deal with Hulu in place and that Netflix may develop a presence on the site as well. However, the story was all based on hearsay so it is hard to separate substantiated rumor from pipe dream until f8 kicks off.

As an aside, try typing f8 5 times without typing f*. What’s a good two-letter curse word?

Now music and video are not the only new features allegedly coming to the site. Facebook is also expected to announce an expansion of its e-commerce services. Consumers can already use Facebook credits for any number of transactions, but those credits may now be more prominently displayed.

Few observers seem to have a strong idea of what this social e-commerce will entail, but some of the rumors include an App Store and a “Want” button to indicate items one is interested in purchasing.

Follow all of that? Worry not, the truth will be revealed shortly. For a live feed of the conference (beginning at 12:30 ET), click here.

One thread tying all of these potential changes together is what websites call “stickiness.” Enhanced media and commerce offerings turn Facebook into even more of a one-stop shop. Not only can you chat with friends, share pictures and search for cool links but you would now be able to watch TV or buy a new sofa.

Every feature Facebook adds is designed to keep its users on its site because web traffic alone is not enough. Websites convince advertisers to spend money by demonstrating not just that hordes of users come to their site but that when they come they stay for a while.

Add in the probable economic benefits of increased e-commerce and the Facebook empire looks to take another big step forward.