Facebook Like button – Social Plugins and the rest of what Facebook annouced at F8

Well, I added the Like button to Webmetricsguru.com (I also registered TheWebMetricsGuru.com domain last week, btw) via a WordPress Plugin and I’m listening to parts of the F8 Developers Conference that took place earlier today so I can form my own opinion on the changes Facebook announced today along those who I follow.

In fact, there was so much announced today at the F8 Conference that it will take a little while to wrap out hands around it and decide how to adapt.

It’s my belief I should listen to  this information about Facebook first before looking too much at what everyone else is saying and spinning – which is what I did (spent close to an hour listening to F8) just now.

There were a lot of enhancements – Social Plugins allows you to share content without doing anything else – you socially enable your site and begin to personalize any site based on your friends, your likes and dislikes.   There is an activity stream plugin, login plugin, Social Bar (automatically socialize your site with one line of HTML)  and recommendations plugin as well.

Note: It’s almost as if Facebook syndicated it’s social functions to any website that wants to add them – which is a very significant enhancement which I predict will soon become widespread.

My guess is Google is not too happy about this development from Facebook – and in fact, what was announced today now eclipses PageRank, especially the Search capability and Webhook capability  – using Oauth2 just made programming Facebook much easier, too.

The Open Graph Protocol allows a page creator to tag pages to have a more universal meaning – it’s a markup language – marking up your pages which allows the web to become more intelligent.

The Graph API is more for developers – Facebook made it much easier to program around the Facebook platform.

Some Reactions to the F8 Announcement -

Frank Reed at MarketingPilgrim asks if Users will Like the New Facebook Like Button? and suspects there will be a large privacy issue with sharing all this data around the social graph.

MG Siegler at TechCrunch said “I Think Facebook Just Seized Control Of The Internet” and I happen to agree with him – this will put Google on the defensive – a place they have rarely been lately.

…that Facebook’s stance is that social connections are going to be just as important going forward as hyperlinks have been for the web.

…..And if that’s so, Google had better watch out. There may be a new sheriff in web town.

I’m so tired of Google being ahead of everyone else (or acquiring a company if they can’t be ahead) that Facebook jumping ahead of Google would be a welcome breath of fresh air – and very likely, even if Google tried to buy Facebook now,  Federal Anti Trust law would stand in Google’s way, I suspect.

But … Greg Sterling (not related to Brad Sterling of the Twilight Zone) of Search Engine Land said Facebook’s Alternative Internet Vision And Its Search Implications are not well understood yet.  Sterling echos MG Siegler by suggesting that …

The vision represents a shift from a Google-centric internet comprised of billions of unrelated documents and sites to a Facebook centric one where social relationships and affiliations are the connective tissue in a vast network.

And Marshall Kirkpatrick of ReadWriteWeb asks if the New Facebook is a Deal With the Devil?

Facebook blew peoples’ minds today at its F8 developer conference but one sentiment that keeps coming up is: this is scary.

The reasons Kirkpatrick gives for Facebook’s announced changes being scary is

  1. It kicked off meaningful adoption of the Semantic Web with the snap of the fingers (not sure why that is scary – isn’t this what we secretly wanted?)
  2. It probably knocked a whole class of recommendation technology startups (can’t say that makes much difference to me – but if I owned such a company I’d probably be pissed).
  3. It popularized social bookmarking and made subscribing to feeds around the web easier than ever before. (Again, why is this scary)?
  4. And it may have created the biggest disruption to web traffic analytics in years: demographically verified visitor stats tied to peoples’ real identities. There was so much big news that the analytics part didn’t even come up in the keynote.  But ….
      1. Currently, Insights provides users data about their Facebook fan pages and social ads. Now, however, Facebook is taking this a step further and will also give users who implement Facebook’s new features on their sites data about the people who share content from these sites, “no matter where those shares originated.”

Now, Insights will provide a lot more information on aggregate data on comments and likes – plus referral traffic to an application (where on Facebook your traffic is coming from) – it’s sorta like Omniture renaming a page.   Active Users, key sources based on types of actions, demographic breakdown based on gender, age, local, city.  Prompt and Acceptance permission rates are also being supplied around applications.

Pages Insights (likes, comments, unsubscribes) shows you how users react to your content.  Each story also has a feedback percentage, impressions, engagement, etc).  Also, you can track where your fans are coming from – and this should be interesting – as it will now be clear how large fan bases have been built.

You will be able to get analytics for any url – not just Facebook.

And ….. now  Facebook becoming it’s own Analytics Service … take that Omniture …take that WebTrends … (share, reshares, feedback rate can be charted across the web) as you can see the urls that are most engaging based on how it interacted with your Facebook content.    And with Domain Level demographics will make a very interesting play to the Social Media Monitoring Platforms like Sysomos, BrandWatch, Radian6 – etc.

You just do what all the analytics vendors have you do … add a line or two of JavaScript …ha, ha … who has the last laugh?  We’ll see.

You start by going to Facebook.com/Insights and click on Insights for your Domain.

I was thinking of using Sysomos, Scout Labs or Radian6 to pick out the most interesting parts of the conversations around the F8 announcements today – but decided to hold off on that as most people probably aren’t too sure how they feel about the new improvements and capabilities Facebook announced today – and if I monitor now, all I’m going to pick up is that uncertainty.

I will close this post with one more thought – remember I said that Social Media ROI would be largely figured out by years end?  Well, between FourSquare (Geolocation)  and Facebook (new announcements) plus Google Places – it’s not hard to see why that will happen.

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  1. [...] Scoble thinks it is too late to regulate Facebook for the changes it’s made coming out of the F8 conference last week that are painting the web with Facebook Like Buttons and sharing more data with the likes of [...]

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