Facebook V the internet - F8 Developer Conference
There was a lot of geek talk, poor presentation skills from Mr Zucks and no mention of location based services on the Facebook platform. Yet the announcements from Facebook genuinely have the potential to transform and dominate the web for years to come.
The main announcement is that Facebook is going to put “like” buttons all over the web, with an initial focus on publishers (news content sites).
This concept is not new. For the last couple of years we have had similar offerings from Digg and Delicious to name a couple. I’m a huge fan of Delicious (where you bookmark all your favourite content onto one site and then share your bookmarks with your network / wider community). Betapond uses Delicious to centrally visualise any content that is bookmarked on Delicious with the tag “Betapond”. This content is then pushed to our home page.
The main fall back with Delicious is that there is no method to get access to your existing network of friends. Whilst I might “digg” a piece a news article, there is no way for me to know if my friends also “digg” this content. With this new feature, I will know which of my friends has already read or liked this story. This information will be displayed to me on the publisher’s website (ie the sports / news website that I’m reading). This type of connection is invaluable as it supplements my reading experience with contextual feedback from my friends. Facebook describes these peer to peer connections that enable personalisation as the “social graph”.The impact of social graph based personalisation is already being seen. The Huffington Post already personalises content based on what stories people in your Facebook social graph have read.
The bottom line is this: the Facebook platform is on course to be the CRM platform of the web. As Facebook integrates into the web, the flow of data through its platform is going to grow exponentially. This data is going to be critical in assisting brands in connecting and monetising their social media / web / Facebook activities.