Facebook made some big announcements this week regarding the future (and future potential) of its platform approach to business. With the release of Open Graph and Social Plugins, Facebook provides deeper integration between its social network and third party websites and developers. The company also updated its existing Graph API for more flexible integration options. Here’s a quick run down of what just happened, what it means, and what the future may hold.
Open Graph-integrating third-party data into Facebook, with deeper and stronger pipes. More complex than Facebook Connect.
Social Plugins-social features from Facebook that can be pushed to participating publishers.
Graph API update-Facebook platform revamp for simpler integration for developers.
What it Means for Facebook:
Building a larger foundation upon which others can access and monetize Facebook’s large social base.
Bold move towards owning the web through social mechanisms and semantic search
Reiterating standards set forth by Facebook’s initial open platform, and Facebook Connect
What it Means for Third Parties:
More options for building out large apps with a focus on revenue-generation
Higher barrier to entry for smaller developers
A necessity for inter-app communication
What it Means for Microsoft:
Ability to compete more directly with Google’s web search efforts
A fatter pipes system for leveraging consumer access and its marketability
Ownership in a self-sustained market for socially-driven applications
What it Means for Users:
Encouraged openness and content-sharing through easier access points and automated features
Economic incentives for linking social accounts with consumer activity
Revised desire for privacy protection and ownership of personal data
What it Means for Privacy Advocates:
A backlash against Facebook’s betrayal of initial user privacy promises
Development of apps designed to protect personal user interests
A need to consider multiple company initiatives towards user data ownership when looking at long-term goals of Facebook