If you thought Facebook was everywhere before, brace yourself. We're just scratching the surface of where the social networking is going: world domination.
On Thursday, CEO Mark Zuckerberg introduced the next wave of Facebook's Open Graph platform, which will basically give way to sharing all sorts of actions and information from different apps and services. Even more basically than that, it will enable Facebook members to share just about anything and everything they are doing online. (Well, at least everything that is appropriate.)
The highlight here is that this is being extended to media and lifestyle apps, such as Netflix, Spotify, The Daily, and Flipboard. Facebook has a whole host of partners, but within a year -- you name the app, and these features will probably be available. It's not exactly the kind of music and movie streaming integration people were possibly expecting, such as an extension of Facebook's existing in-program rentals from Warner Bros. and other studios down the road.
But, there's really no escaping Facebook at this point. So if you thought it was annoying when all of those Farmville notifications popped up on your News Feed, just wait. It's going to get so much more crowded. A peculiar side effect might be that with that much more information being posted on a regular basis, Facebook might see more return visits each day as users want to keep tabs more often.
I will admit there were some examples that caught my attention and favor, which I will likely use when available. For example, there will be direct integration of the Foodspotting app, which will post images and restaurant locations directly to one's profile -- er, Timeline. Sure, it helps define a person's personality on their Timeline, but in reality, it just helps people show off even more. And isn't that what Facebook is all about anyway?
The good news is that there are a couple ways to avoid this if you're not interested in all of this extra information and options. First, you can still choose to ignore certain items and users who post too often. (Come on, we all have someone that we've blocked from the News Feed.) Second, you could opt to not participate yourself. None of this stuff is mandatory, so if you see it in an app, just ignore it and move on. Facebook has promised less pop-up notifications and has rewritten them to make them clearer, but time will tell if users really find them less annoying or not.
However, for people who do like to share things often -- or even just once in a while and are looking for simpler ways to go about it -- then this next step for Open Graph really will benefit. Either way, it will change the way people use and view Facebook -- for better or worse.