How far should startups integrate Facebook Open Graph?

Startups should consider integrating the social media function into their products and create buzz and brand awareness, but how far should they go?
Written by Srinivas Kulkarni, Contributor on

Certainly, this isn't something that is very new and is something that Mark Zuckerberg and his team had in mind when they released the API (application programming interface) for Facebook's Open Graph. Of course, there's now also Open Graph Search which can change the way people search for businesses on the social Web. 

One very interesting phenomenon I noticed lately and wrote about in a different blog post was the progress of Facebook's Open Graph and how products were using and spreading the feature within their timelines, thus, reaching out to different users on what activities they were carrying out. 

Is this something that is required? I'm going to have to say yes, but whether it is something that should be an integral part of a startup's product, I'll have to say no. 

A lot of users these days are fascinated with applications that are intuitive and at the same time can allow them to quickly connect to Facebook. So one of the first things that a lot of users might prefer, as much as it would be a bad idea for them to do, is to sign up for services using Facebook Connect. So your products should support this and should have a verification aspect to it as well.

Essentially whatever you do on your product, it would be a good thing to encourage people to share their real-life experience. This is becoming popular culture especially since a lot of us are using various applications that already include Open Graph as part of their ecosystem and are integrated tightly with Facebook.


Take a look at my activities. Something I addressed in this blog is how the integration of Facebook Open Graph with products is making our life very "bot-like" and very few updates involve actual human interactions. For example, my updates would look something like this:

  • I biked 10 kms via Runkeeper
  • I read Steve Jobs on GoodRead
  • I checked in at McDonalds, Mumbai
  • I am watching The House of Cards on GetGlue
  • I pinned Paris to "Places I want to Travel to"
  • I viewed "How to Sell Better" on Slideshare

However, at the same time, I would say it's a really interesting for startups to offer products that actually capitalize on an opportunity that's gaining great momentum and feed into timelines of other users, as well as create buzz and brand awareness about the startup brands. 

One such product is LurnQ, which I featured here a couple of weeks ago. I'm sure there are many other startups in India that are already doing this.

What I'd particularly like to know is, from a user perspective, do you think it's a good idea or would you prefer to have a certain amount of control over what kind of content is shared--albeit, the products will typically give you the option, tucked away in a corner of some settings, or on Facebook to disable it. By default, usually the option is set to be shared automatically. 

What's your take as a product builder or as a user on Facebook Open Graph?

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