Facebook Plot Thickens: It's Much Ado About Narratives

How many times can Marc D’Arcy use the word “narrative” in an industry keynote presentation?

I don’t actually know, because I stopped counting midway through his presentation this morning at GroupM’s “What’s Next” conference in New York. Based on D’Arcy’s presentation, I’m going to guess that what’s coming next, is more narrative.

According to D’Arcy, who is director of global creative solutions at Facebook, there the social media platform is enabling “human narratives,” “personal narratives,” the “narratives” of our entire lives (now thanks to Facebook’s Timeline application), and as you might expect given the audience he is speaking to, “brand narratives.” D’Arcy said nothing about ad agency narratives, or even trade reporter narratives, and he did not explicitly talk about Facebook’s own corporate narrative, but I have a feeling we will be hearing more about that story shortly.

Actually, D'Arcy shared some interesting insights about Facebook's recent revamp, the one it unveiled at its F8 conference where Timeline was birthed. That insight is that Facebook has shifted from a narrative comprised largely of nouns to one of verbs and nouns. That's a good thing for the writer's among us.

As for the Facebook user's among us, that means that Facebook's model has shifted from users being able to like (any noun)" to users "(any verb and any noun)."

D'Arcy said that grammatical shift represents the "most exciting thing from a brand perspective." I'm guessing that's because brands typically are nouns, or at least proper nouns. And that the things consumers do with them quite frequently are verbs.

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