Facebook’s Plans to Take Over the Web

    May 8, 2010
    Chris Crum

So, earlier in the week, we talked about how absorbed the web is going to get by Facebook. Based on Facebook’s announcements at F8 today, that is most certainly the goal of the company, and given the tremendous adoption of Facebook by users in general, and by important partners with content, get ready to get more absorbed.

There were three major announcements made during the keynote. These were:

1. The Open Graph

2. Social Plug-ins

3. Graph API

Essentially, Facebook thinks connections are going to become the new links. This will theoretically happen through what they’re calling the Open Graph. Zuckerberg explains this:

Facebook has focused mostly on mapping out the part of the graph around people and their relationships.

At the same time, other sites and services have been mapping out other parts of the graph so you can get relevant information about different types of things. For example, Yelp maps out the best local businesses and Pandora maps out which songs are related to each other.

All of these connections are important parts of the social graph, but until now it hasn’t been possible to easily share the connections you make on sites like Yelp or Pandora with your friends on Facebook. And you haven’t been able to bring your friends from Facebook to share experiences on these sites or personalize them to you.

Facebook's Open Graph

The announcement of the social plug-ins will play a significant role in making the connections involved in this Open Graph. These include a "like" button for the web, which the company as already deemed the most important of the plug-ins. When you stick a like button on your site, that connection will be integrated with Facebook through the Graph API. The activity will go the news feed, but it will also go to other relevant places in your Facebook profile.

Taylor shared examples from partners IMDB, Pandora, and ESPN. If you "like" a band on Pandora, that will go to the appropriate bands-you-like section on Facebook. On IMDB, every movie page will have a like button, so if you "like" a movie, it will be reflected in your movies section in your Facebook profile. It goes both ways though. You’re not just sending stuff back to Facebook. For example, there will be "like" buttons associated with athletes on their profile pages on ESPN.com. If you "like" one of these athletes, you can get updates about them from ESPN, via Facebook. Expect a lot of interesting two-way things to happen with the Graph API, as more and more developers are able to harness its power.

Other plug-ins include boxes for activity feeds and recommendations you can stick on your site. You can check out Facebook’s social plug-ins here.

Basically, the gist of the entire thing is that Facebook is taking over the web, and sites will be afraid not to take part. Facebook is injecting itself into every part of the web possible. As far as I can tell, this Open Graph is essentially a web itself. While it may not become THE web, it may increasingly become the one that matters.

Are we headed toward a point that if you are not somehow connected to Facebook you are not connected to the world at large? By the way, this is not going to do anything to slow Facebook’s growth down. Share your thoughts.


Chris Crum
Chris Crum has been a part of the WebProNews team and the iEntry Network of B2B Publications since 2003. Follow Chris on Twitter, on StumbleUpon, on Pinterest and/or on Google: +Chris Crum.