On September 22, 2011, Facebook held f8, its 4th annual developer conference. There were two clear themes throughout the keynote address and the feature demos – User engagement and content discovery. Facebook is making richer experiences possible by expanding the capabilities of the Open Graph and through the introduction of a redesigned profile page – the hub of all user activity on Facebook.
Facebook has been rolling out updates to user profile pages since f8 and APIs that enable deeper engagement with users are currently in developer beta.
Impact for OpenGraphy customers
As a OpenGraphy customer, no immediate action is required on your part, Open graph offers new opportunities and doesn’t affect the codes you are using on your website to optimize it for Facebook. You will enjoy continued access to the same set of rich interactions and widgets for your site(s). Here at OpenGraphy, we are testing Facebook’s APIs and introducing new user permissions to ensure optimized integration of the actions users make on your site in their ticker, News Feed, Timeline & Search, in order to maximize referral traffic back to your content.
OpenGraphy understands how developer conferences like f8 can cause concern for your digital roadmap. In order to help make sense of what f8 means for you, please contact us for a deeper panel discussion. Members of our product and digital and social strategy teams will discuss what all of this news means for Q4 2011 and into 2012.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at how Facebook is making user engagement and content discovery possible.
Finally, Some Context for Content Sharing
Whereas the Facebook Open Graph of 2010 supported the ability to “Like” a variety of content and web pages, the Open Graph of 2011 supports many more actions or verbs. Simply put, users can now convey a richer set of intentions and context back to their social graph. This makes user actions on your website even more relevant to their friends. Apart from liking a page, your users can share that they read a news article, cooked a recipe, listened to a song, or recommended a restaurant.
The new Facebook profile page now contains three distinct elements.
The Timeline that allows a user to customize and share life stages and milestones with their friends and family.
The Ticker that displays all lightweight activities from friends such as “Antoine just became friends with Aurel” in real-time.
The News Feed itself that contains status updates and posts from a user’s social graph.
So, rather than display every action taken by a user’s friends, family and colleagues in a single timeline, these activity updates are neatly segmented into three areas of the profile page for easier discovery and consumption.
Users can opt-in to share activities to their Timeline one initial time which allows subsequent actions to be automatically shared to their Timeline. Facebook is encouraging creation of branded Facebook apps to make this automatic sharing possible though similar sharing can also be done from a brand site by requesting the publish_actions user permission which OpenGraphy will make available shortly. Our customers will be notified when the permission becomes available.
Here’s the major change : your visitors don’t have to use specific Facebook social plugins to tell their friends what they are doing on your site, it’s up to us as developers to custom your own links and buttons with Open Graph V2.
OpenGraphy can optimize your navigation and action links within 10 days.
User privacy settings
Users can control all their activity on your site from their private Activity Log. All the tools have been developed by Facebook to help them use your custom open graph features in the best way.
In parallel, we develop for our customers a button to allow users to make their navigation private. (See spotify for example)
New Ways to Leverage the Open Graph
Regardless of your industry vertical, the Open Graph will provide new ways for customers to talk about your brands and products with their social graph. The like and comment social plugins were the only buttons to help your users express who they are through the actions they make on your site. Now, we will be able to configure new buttons to express new on-site activities. The opportunities are limitless.
Instead of just “Liking” a product page, you can create any verb association. You will probably want users to “Want,” “Own,” and “Give” products, but think about other things customers would like to do with your products, like “Use,” “Upgrade to,” and “Rock.”
Wanting Products using Social Sharing :
Media and Entertainment
Entertainment apps become much more important, as users will have new ways of engaging with video and music content. The most promising application in this area is Relike.tv
Watching Videos Using Social Sharing :
Publishers have the greatest ability to stay relevant, as the content stream from your website gets more social distribution through automatic sharing, and drives more users back to your site. You now have the option to introduce labels such as “Read”, “Commented”, “Strongly Agreed With”, “Disapproved” to your content.
Reading Articles using Social Sharing :
Comment on Facebook
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