I’ve been meaning to get this in writing for some time now, because if I don’t I won’t be able to say “I told you so” when this actually happens.
With Facebook’s launch of the new Timeline feature, I think they are poised very nicely to start offering printed memorabilia. Think about it. They have photos, status updates, events, comments from friends, and more. They know what got the most attention. They have a good idea of what’s important to you.
Imagine this: you go to Facebook and click on a “Printed Book” button. Give them a starting date and a stoping date and Facebook instantly generates a 40 page book of photos, status updates, comments, and likes for your four years of college. You page through it, approving the photos, proofing the text, and swapping out the status updates or photos that are inappropriate for the type of book you are getting.
Rather than your college years, maybe you choose a vacation you took. With maps of where you “checked in” photos that you took at those places and comments from jealous friends who watched your progress from home.
Apple has been promoting books from iPhoto for years. Many photo printing places offer similar selections of printed photo books. There are a few independent companies that let you do something similar, but NONE of these options have the social element and all inclusive data stream like Facebook has.
The books certainly won’t be cheap, but they need to be terribly expensive. For $50 you could give your brother a book of photos and updates chronicling from when he met his girlfriend to the day they got married. (Depending of course on if your brother’s privacy settings allow friends to print books of his timeline or not.)
If Facebook doesn’t jump on this, a third party application will. (If one hasn’t already.)
In fact, I almost see parents setting up accounts for their newborn children to populate it with photos and updates in order to get a full life catalogue. (Facebook might even add this type of thing as a feature.)
That’s my prediction. What do you think?