Give Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg points for ambition. The company is rolling out a new version of its popular social network that seeks to be the hub of everything its users do online. If Zuckerberg's gambit succeeds, Facebook would attain an even more dominant position among social networks. It would also amass a storehouse of knowledge about its users large enough to rival Google's. The implications for users and media companies, however, are not so promising.
Launched to help college students connect to one another, Facebook has evolved into a place where up to half a billion people gather each day, often for hours at a time, to share pictures, links and commentary. The network has become a powerful platform for marketers and, increasingly, application developers, particularly those writing games that let friends interact through the Net.
On Thursday, Zuckerberg unveiled two new features that encourage users to provide even more information about themselves to Facebook — for example, by automatically posting links on Facebook to the songs they're playing from an online jukebox or the TV shows they're watching on Hulu. The point is to help people discover media and services by seeing what their friends and acquaintances are doing.