Facebook's Open Graph Is Dominating The Internet

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The image you see above is not the visualizer from Windows Media Player 6. It's a chart that shows how many links containing Open Graph tags have gone through through Embedly. The image illustrates a massive 42 percent of all URLs going through their API contains one or more Open Graph tags.

Embedly recently posted on their blog a question that was posed to them on Quora: "How has the Facebook Open Graph affected embed.ly's scraping systems?" To answer that question, they went into their data and brought out a wide collection of lovely graphs that show how much of a pull Open Graph has on the URLs that go through their API.

They clarify that this information is not inclusive of the entire Internet, far from it. They only crawl URLs that have been shared through their API, but the above result was collected from only 36 hours which contained 12 million URLs.

That's a massive amount of URLs. While Embedly does say that their results have a higher Open Graph percentage than the rest of the Internet, it still bears repeating that Facebook, specifically Open Graph, absolutely dominates the Internet.

Of course, there are multiple tags within Open Graph that denote certain content. Out of all of the content they scrape, blogs and articles are the most prevalent users of Open Graph. Video and location tags come in second and third respectively. They're going to look into location more since big location apps like Foursquare don't use Open Graph. Finally, audio came in last but they chalk that up to a lack of audio providers.

Going back to the question that started this investigation, Embedly says that Open Graph has made it easier for them to gather data. The problem is that Open Graph is obviously only meant for Facebook. That means video collected by Embedly is not sized for general purpose. They say that Open Graph content is only the fallback and that they will use other content on the page if it's available.

Facebook has always said that Open Graph is a major driver of traffic to apps that use it. I guess now we have real evidence that Open Graph is driving a lot of content across the Web. This information should be taken with the disclaimer of Embedly being only a small part of the Internet, but it's still impressive to see those numbers.

[h/t: ZDNet]