Facebook's Zuckerberg at f8: Open social graphs and an effort to be the center of the Web

Facebook's Zuckerberg at f8: Open social graphs and an effort to be the center of the Web

Summary: At the f8 conference in San Francisco Wednesday, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg delivered a keynote speech that focused on developments that are being rolled out to bring social interactions to the greater Web. Add it up and Facebook is going to garner more control of the Web and put itself in the middle of content.

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At the f8 conference in San Francisco Wednesday, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg delivered a keynote speech that focused on developments that are being rolled out to bring social interactions to the greater Web. Add it up and Facebook is going to garner more control of the Web and put itself in the middle of content.

For a better understanding of what this is meant to do, consider the information that's floating around the Facebook cloud. Sure, I can tell my friends that I like a band or plan on attending a particular event. I can share a news article I liked or even post a quick review of a restaurant where I had lunch.

But this information is on Facebook for a short time, part of a stream that's constantly changing as friends post updates. It's just a snapshot in time. Maybe my friends will see the links I post. Maybe they won't. Because events are streamed, the chances that someone might miss a review I posted to Yelp are pretty high. Sure, my review is posted on Yelp's site and that information is in Yelp's "Facebook graph" but those worlds aren't necessarily connected.

Now, they will be (Techmeme, Facebook blog, Developer blog, F8 site).

Zuckerberg in his keynote and on his blog summed it up:

We are making it so all websites can work together to build a more comprehensive map of connections and create better, more social experiences for everyone. We have redesigned Facebook Platform to offer a simple set of tools that sites around the web can use to personalize experiences and build out the graph of connections people are making.

In other words, Facebook's move today is a big deal even though users won't see much. This IMDB screen shows Facebook's little widget (right). You like a movie big deal right? Behind the scenes, Facebook is categorizing content. The behavioral ad implications are large. Facebook will have insight on the entire Web---after all why wouldn't a Web publisher participate---and reap most of the benefits. People (and Facebook) will be center of the Web. If search signals intent, Facebook's Like button signals a strong preference. Ultimately, preference may be more valuable. In addition, clicking Like on a Facebook widget now begins a relationship since sites that participate can update people about changes or new information.

Today's conference, which is targeted at developers, is focused around tools that developers can use to bring a social - well, Facebook - element to their sites and allow users to share information and discover information about their friends as it relates to that site. What does that mean? The CNN example drove it home best.

Let's say you go to a particular article at CNN.com. You haven't signed in to CNN or otherwise told them who you are. But, there on the CNN page, is information about your Facebook friends who have already "liked" that article. That's something you likely would have missed on their Facebook News Feed streams - but, now that information is not only in front of you - but also relevant to your user experience.

It's this "Open Graph" idea that's central to Facebook's new platform architecture, which is being rolled out later today. What's cool about it is that it allows developers to create "bigger picture" experiences and turn every element into something social and personalized.

My favorite example that really drives home the power of this new graph approach was the Pandora example. Let's say I've clicked Facebook "Like" buttons embedded into sites across the Web where I've been able to share with friends the bands that I like. When I launch Pandora, it knows the bands that I've told my Facebook friends that I like - and it starts playing music from them.

Facebook, with its news today, is reinventing and redefining what the social web actually means. There's a lot to take in and the magnitude of it all is just starting to sink in. It'll take some time to truly understand the potential - and value - of what Facebook is unveling today.

And, above all, remember that Facebook only knows about you what you're sharing with it. It's noteworthy because, using the CNN example above, it doesn't necessarily mean you're telling CNN anything about you - directly. But, through the connected graphs. CNN will surely know you're there and will know that you liked its story.

What it does with that information is a different story.

Topic: Social Enterprise

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18 comments
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  • A big waste...

    of time. With their current TOS you have to agree to, they can keep it. For those that don't care, good luck to ya.
    Dave32265
    • ...of time, oxygen, etc.

      does the phrase caveat emptor mean anything anymore? Facebook is a rendering plant for personal privacy and yet millions are trying to get in.

      gonna' take more than luck.
      eric.jernigan
  • Is it common knowledge that Zuckerberg looks like Screech?

    http://por-img.cimcontent.net/api/assets/bin-200811/de798471cae61867a17b99ec6795792f.jpg
    ericesque
  • Facebook is the Rubik's Cube of the 2010's

    I'm just sitting here waiting for this fad to disappear. Its so
    annoying, not Facebook, but its users. Congrat's to
    Zuckerberg for polluting the world with this nonsense and
    making a billion.
    kent42
    • Congrats on your extraneous apostrophe's -nt

      nt
      Black Dahlia
  • Who edited this crap?

    There are just more non sequiturs in the below than I
    can deal with. ZIFF, your quality on everything you
    touch is just going down and down......

    And wtf does IMDB stand for?

    >>>
    In other words, Facebook?s move today is a big deal
    even though users won?t see much. This IMDB screen
    shows Facebook?s little widget (right). You like a
    movie big deal right? Behind the scenes, Facebook is
    categorizing content. The behavioral ad implications
    are large. Facebook will have insight on the entire
    Web?after all why wouldn?t a Web publisher participate
    ?and reap most of the benefits. People (and Facebook)
    will be center of the Web. If search signals intent,
    Facebook?s Like button signals a strong preference.
    Ultimately, preference may be more valuable. In
    addition, clicking Like on a Facebook widget now
    begins a relationship since sites that participate can
    update people about changes or new information.
    >>>>
    kthompson@...
    • imdb

      imdb is the internet movie database, a brand new and very exciting prospect for the information highway!
      jbfoster1
      • Actually...it's been around since 1990.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_Movie_Database
        IT_Guy_z
      • Not knowing of IMDB...

        ...is about a notch below not knowing of Yahoo! or
        Google.
        Black Dahlia
        • not knowing imdb

          I'm disappointed you didn't catch the "information highway" reference as a tip off that I was joking...
          jbfoster1
  • Mark Zuckerberg...another budding meglomaniac.

    Just one more punk who has more money than brains...or class.
    IT_Guy_z
  • RE: Facebook's Zuckerberg at f8: Open social graphs and an effort to be the center of the Web

    Why are you reporting his obvious self-interest as gospel? Do you guys even use FaceBook? There will be a bigger exodus away from FB when it becomes obvious that it has limited people's choices with this move. The biggest draw to FB was the games: Mafia Wars is the main reason and due to the technical problems that FB continually has regarding Zynga games, people will look for their guilty pleasures elsewhere, starting with the new MafiaWars.com or even Farmville.com, separate from FB
    horusbedhetys@...
  • RE: Facebook's Zuckerberg at f8: Open social graphs and an effort to be the center of the Web

    I can't write what I think "f8" stands for. Every time they mess around with Facebook it makes things worse for those of us who TRY to use it. This guy is beginning to feel like another Bill Gates. I hope someone puts up a Facebook NOT site so those of us who don't want HIM deciding with whom we connect can just use the damned facility.

    Sorry. Because I didn't want my film favorites linked to the whole world, FB just deleted them.
    dlp@...
  • Social, semantic Web

    I haven't exactly understood it yet, but it
    sounds really interesting. Most of the time,
    when I specify on one site that I like
    something, I really want other relevant sites to
    automatically get this information and maybe to
    offer me something similar.
    Furthermore, Google Buzz, or MySpace, or
    Facebook, or Netflix can to a certain degree
    calculate the likelihood for my friends to like
    the same thing I like on their sites and adjust
    their offer (context adds, etc.) for my friends.
    This is what a "smart web" environment is.

    Google currently collects one's preference
    behinds the scene through data mining and
    displays adds accordingly. I don't mind, I
    rather like it: it help finding relevant info
    and products.
    What Facebook is going to do is different,
    because a) I express my preferences manually by
    clicking on "Like" button; b) Facebook is going
    to team with other big portals, have them
    display Facebook "Like" buttons and share
    information. I think it would be good for Google
    to follow the trend, to introduce "GoogleLike"
    buttons (may be even placed on Google Toolbar)
    and to share this info with other portals and
    social sites, including Facebook. It seems to be
    a win for everybody.

    What do you think?
    http://techlyric.blogspot.com/2010/04/facebook-
    zuckerberg-at-f8-open-social.html
    vkelman@...
  • Aren't they doing something like this already?

    Does this have anything to do with all the web partners Facebook has where info is transmitted to Facebook if you visit the sites and are also logged into Facebook? Or is this a new form of privacy invasion that Facebook is so good at?

    I can't even tell anymore -- it seems that every week Facebook is doing something else to try to make money from our personal information.

    In any case, it sounds like another very good reason to dump Facebook and keep in touch with my friends in non-privacy destroying ways -- such as email or face-to-face.
    justthisguyyouknow
  • 'Dislike' Button

    Come on, already, Zuckerberg. Facebook users need
    a 'dislike' button. Not everything is likeable.

    Are you thinking along the lines of "if you don't
    have anything nice to say..."?
    Black Dahlia
  • RE: Socialization whether I want to or not

    Facebook has my privacy so deeply screwed up there is no longer any way for me to figure out who has access to what. There also seems to be a gremlin that runs around every month or so undoing everything I change. Being a low tech individual, the day I looked at the details of my In-Private filtering and realized that the whole world was data-mining my whole existence, I realized it probably made no difference what I changed on my settings anyway. :/
    surfyngirl
    • How to block Facebook privacy sharing

      Finally, a clear step-by-step instruction of what
      should be done on your Facebook site to protect
      your privacy: http://tinyurl.com/28xen6b
      vkelman@...