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Facebook Open Graph – Bring your audience to you

I know what everyone’s saying about Facebook Open Graph: Facebook is bringing the whole web into their circle of influence.
I suspect it’s just the opposite, and that means a huge opportunity for a lot of business models that have suffered on the web.

What you can do with Open Graph

Open Graph lets site owners put a Facebook ‘Like’ button on their sites. I put one on Conversation Marketing this morning:
Facebook Open Graph Like Button
Any Facebook user can then click ‘Like’, right on my site. They don’t have to go to Facebook to do it. When they click ‘Like’, it shows up on their Facebook wall. Plus, I can send updates to everyone who’s given my site the thumbs up.
Using Open Graph, you can integrate entire web applications with Facebook. Microsoft has already done it with Docs.com.
My head’s spinning a little thinking about it. At its most basic, the Open Graph API lets people share stuff they like with Facebook friends, without logging back in to Facebook. Get more advanced, though, and you can:

  • Show different products on a page based on products the visitor’s Facebook friends chose;
  • Show reviews by my Facebook friends, automatically, when I visit a page;
  • Integrate comments with Facebook, so that visitors’ comments show up on their walls, too.

Nifty stuff. And a little chilling if you consider the privacy implications. But hey, why worry? Google already owns our lives, and Microsoft has known our underwear sizes since the 1990’s.

How Open Graph could help

Yes, Open Graph brings the web to Facebook. But it also brings Facebook’s massive audience within reach of any web site.
Say you’re a publication. It’s been hard to get folks to come to your site. It’s been hard to even get them to share content with friends while preserving some essence of your brand.
With Open Connect, though, you could put a ‘Like’ button on each page of your site. If I click the button, all my friends will see that I did so. They’ll also see a logo. And, if they click the link in the notification, they’ll be directed back to your publication.
See how that works? A Facebook user (sort of like saying “everyone”, at this point) can, by clicking ‘Like’ on a web page, distribute a link to that page to every one of their friends. Suddenly, there’s a new bridge between Facebook and your content. And the second-hand ROI of good conversations becomes a lot easier to see.
I’m just starting to ponder this. What do you think? Will this take off? Or is it too scary, privacy wise, to even consider?


CEO & Founder

Ian Lurie is CEO and founder of Portent and the EVP of Marketing Services at Clearlink. He's been a digital marketer since the days of AOL and Compuserve (25 years, if you're counting). He's recorded training for Lynda.com, writes regularly for the Portent Blog and has been published on AllThingsD, Smashing Magazine, and TechCrunch. Ian speaks at conferences around the world, including SearchLove, MozCon, Seattle Interactive Conference and ad:Tech. He has published several books about business and marketing: One Trick Ponies Get Shot, available on Kindle, The Web Marketing All-In-One Desk Reference for Dummies, and Conversation Marketing. Follow him on Twitter at portentint, and on LinkedIn at LinkedIn.com/in/ianlurie.

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  1. Hello Ian,
    I like your direct, on your face approach to blogging.Great stuff.
    In respect to Facebook’s “like” button and its privacy implications, well as is normal, most people will never give it a thought. We live in a world of online zombies anyway. As for the rest, paranoid,government conspiracy types, well…hitting that “Like” button will be like .
    hitting the “start” button of the “Doom’s Day” machine that will bring about the end of Western society as has been known to date. Welcome back to 1984…
    Your tutorials are also great.
    Best regards.

  2. I second Mauricio’s praise of your site and style.
    Ha – you know, once, long ago, a CEO of a web-based company told me that “we’d like to use Facebook connect, but how can we be sure that Facebook will be around next year – or the year after?” That company is now all-but-defunct.
    And Facebook is marketing the heck out of those that use it. It really is a traffic driver for those that accept it’s claws into one’s off-FB site…
    Thanks for all the insight –

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