Platlas: The world's first social-platform atlas

New graphical tool shows everything you can do on Facebook, and soon other social networks as well.

Laura Locke
Laura Locke is a senior writer for CNET, covering social media, emerging trends, and start-ups. Prior to joining CNET, she contributed extensively to Time and Time.com for much of the past decade.
Laura Locke
2 min read

Facebook is in flux, or let's say, full epic swing.

On the eve of F8, Facebook's annual developer conference, the world's busiest social network is expected to undergo its most radical change yet.

Facebook, now 7 years old, appears on the verge of becoming a full-on consumer brand powerhouse--where entire industries like publishing, film, and television will live and conduct commerce at an unprecedented rate and scale, industry watchers say. As Facebook grows and evolves, it's also becoming a more complex platform to understand and navigate. That's why Platlas, the world's first social-networking "atlas" was created.

Platlas helps users navigate Facebook. Click to enlarge. Platlas/Screenshot by CNET

It's designed to show you everything you can do on Facebook. Platlas helps users find their way around the social network and explore new paths and interactions with other people, companies, and brands.

Think of it as a visual primer on Facebook as it evolves daily and over time. Mike Germano and his team of designers, developers, and strategists at Carrot Creative, in Brooklyn, N.Y., created Platlas from scratch to help their own customers like Ford and Major League Baseball leverage their social brands on Facebook with fan pages and other techniques.

"Facebook is an absolute must-have for every brand," Germano told CNET in a pre-F8 interview. "It's becoming the only way for brands to have communications with online users." Germano and his company seem to be in a good position to know having designed the very first brand experiences on Facebook's platform in 2007.

Germano's team plans to continuously track and update any and all changes to the Facebook platform. After F8, expect to visit Platlas and see how Facebook's social ecosystem has been modified.

In coming months be on the lookout for other social platforms to go through the Platlas process. There will be similar graphical social guides for Twitter, Foursquare, and Gowalla and eventually every social network.