A new pattern is emerging on the social web: what I call the public social gesture.
For a bit of explanation, a social gestures is the idea of publicly sharing some action online. Gestures started with blog comments, moved to the status update and to the shared link. Most major social media successes rely on the app introducing a new type of gesture: think the public check-in (Foursquare), the public purchase (Blippy) and the like (Facebook).
While the lowest common denominator of gesture has traditionally involved a hyperlink somewhere in the mix, Facebook has made a bold move to challenge this construct as I outlined the other day.
Paul Buchheit of Facebook also had some really interesting insights into the rise of these gestures at today’s Web 2.0 Expo:
Paul Buchheit: “[Facebook’s] real power is in the people. [Facebook is] an amazing product because it has all the users”
Sarah Milstein: How about privacy on Facebook?
PB: I changed my privacy settings to be more public. I like the idea to share things easily — except my phone number and email. This again goes back to FriendFeed. It’s about serendipity. but it’s hard to predict what those things will be. Things tend towards being better the more we share.
SM: So after Gmail and FriendFeed – what’s coming next on the web do you think?
PB: …quick and lightweight. That’s the future of a lot of what’s upcoming in the communication mediums. Making it easier to do lightweight conversations.
… It’s not too shallow. It creates the context for conversations later on.