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May 18, 2010

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During Facebook’s F8 developer conference last month, Facebook launched a groundbreaking platform designed to extend its reign of social media dominance throughout the net – Open Graph.

Designed with the intention of promoting openness and increased connectivity for Facebook users, all it has done so far is spark controversy as many users have criticized it for eroding their privacy.

Regardless of whether or not you feel Facebook has gone too far by changing users’ default privacy settings, it is hard to argue with the enormous marketing potential of a concept like Open Graph.

Up until this point, the main features to be unveiled are the “like” and “share” buttons that can now be found on the websites of many Facebook partners.  Whether checking the news on CNN or looking up movie reviews on IMDb – a simple click of these buttons displays a link to that page or article on your profile without you ever needing to enter your Facebook login information (provided you are already logged in to Facebook on your browser).  For the partner sites, this gives them access to over 400 million potential readers.

In the eyes of businesses, the beauty of this marketing strategy is that it lets the consumers do the advertising for them.  A Facebook user is much more likely to click on a link that their friend suggested than click on a paid advertisement on the side of the page.

In this age of social media, businesses are finding themselves constantly scrambling to keep up with sweeping changes in the marketplace and to keep their marketing campaigns fresh and current.  That said, this tool could be an excellent addition to any company’s marketing strategy.