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Facebook Launches its Open Graph Application Integration

by | Jan 23, 2012

Your Personal Activity Log!

Keeping track of what you’re doing… just got easier! Back in September 2011, Facebook announced a number of F8 integrations (Ticker, Timeline, Subscribe button, etc.) that would roll-out over the course of the upcoming months. Among these advancements, was the ability to add open graph applications, which would allow users to share what they are “actively” doing on the web with their Facebook network. Last Wednesday, Facebook launched the highly anticipated Open Graph integration.
This means these new social apps (created by third party developers) will allow users to say more about what they are doing – in real time. Some of you may already be familiar with a small group of Open Graphs that partnered with Facebook and launched over the recent months such as Spotify, Hulu and the Washington Post. These applications made it possible for Facebook users to not just “like” something, but tell their friends what songs they were “listening” to or what TV shows they were “watching” and even what articles they were “reading”. It doesn’t stop there; outside developers have been anxiously coding other custom “actions” since the announcement last September, waiting on the green-light from Facebook so that they can be made available to users (e.g. cooked, ran, etc.). Facebook announced 60 new open graph partners, ranging from food to travel, at the F8 convention on January 18, 2012. App partners include TripAdvisor, UrbanSpoon, LivingSocial, Pinterest, Instagram, BranchOut, FundRazr, and more. Some of you may be panicking at this point, fearing that all you do on the internet or via mobile app will be noted and posted for all to see. Not the case! Adding these social applications is not mandatory and will only be added if users “allow” permission and opt-in to share from a specific site or mobile app. Once one-time permission is granted by the user, all activities on that site will post automatically on a user’s Timeline. That’s right! I said “Timeline”. The days of having the option to convert your profile to the new Timeline will come to an end soon! Facebook will start requiring users to migrate to the new design, perhaps as early as the next couple of weeks. The good news is that these ‘activities’ will not post to your Newsfeed, flooding it with your ‘actions,’ but rather they’ll post to your Timeline, Activity Log and your Ticker—allowing friends to listen, read, and watch something with you in real-time, if they wish. The main Facebook blog also notes that you can choose when to add an app and who can see it. After you’ve added an app, you can always remove the posts from your timeline and edit your settings in your personal Activity Log. For personal use, the Open Graph is designed to share life events/activities effortlessly. So instead of physically posting that you “ran three miles today,” the Open Graph, connected to the Nike+ app will have the ability to automatically update the miles you ran to your Timeline. So much for fibbing and saying you ran a 10k when you barely made it around the block. From a Business perspective, the Open Graph and actions will allow for even more targeted advertising opportunities over the weeks to come. For example, a concert venue could target all users who said they “listened” to a specific band that will be performing at that venue, in order to help sell-out the show. It will provide advertisers with more opportunities to create Sponsored Stories, which place a friend’s endorsement on a product or service. Although exciting, these options will require a shift in one’s marketing strategy. Up until now, most businesses simply encouraged Facebook users to “Like” a brand. Now, businesses will have to assist in the “social discovery” of brands—the finding of content, products, media or information through social tools based on your social graph/network—by using the new data and compelling advertisements. Are you ready for the Open Graph? How will you use it?]]>

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