Unless you think 400 million (and growing) deluded people are wrong to have joined an online community called Facebook, you should pay attention to what Facebook says the future will look like. Watching some f8 video coverage is a good place to start.
f8 is a Facebook conference where developers and entrepreneurs collaborate on the future of personalized and social technologies. At f8, members of the Facebook team and the developer community explore a variety of topics including new tools and techniques, business growth strategies and open technologies.
Read up on the Open Graph initiative and social plug-ins, such as the new Like button, and how the distinction between traditional .com assets and Facebook will start to blur. The new Like button is already visible on over 50,000 websites, and Facebook is providing an API-based way to access what they’re calling a user’s “Open Graph,” which is a list of everything he or she has “liked” across the entire web — music, books, restaurants, food and more.
You’ll find plenty of tasty fare as you sample f8 soundbites, such as:
- We’re building toward a Web where everything is social
- We want people to have instantly social and personalized experiences wherever they go
But here’s one that might lead a few marketers to conclude they’ve been invited to watch the party from the outside looking in:
- All [Facebook] social plug-ins are extensions of Facebook and are specifically designed so none of your details are shared with sites on which they appear
Hmmmm. Does that mean a marketer who loads up a .com site with Facebook social plug-ins has to grin and bear it when all that social interaction data flows from the user straight to Facebook, bypassing the brand utterly and completely? Even if the user were willing to let the brand have the data in the name of improving the user’s experience?
Is it time for a new breed of “brand-friendly” social plug-ins that respect user privacy while giving marketers an opportunity to better serve customers?