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Facebook Launches 60 New Open Graph Apps

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

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New apps expand the actions available to users and developers

Facebook has announced a range of new applications which take advantage of the Open Graph platform that allows developers to publish a much wider range of information and actions on the social network.

Sixty new apps have been launched by various companies in numerous fields, including food, travel and entertainment.

Is ‘nom’ an actual verb?

In September, Facebook introduced a range of new actions for developers to offer users. While the ‘like’ action has become synonymous with the social network, these new actions allowed users ‘read’ news on The Guardian or ‘listen’ to songs on music streaming service Spotify.

Other actions were also available for watching video or playing games, but Facebook has expanded the catalogue of verbs to include actions such as ‘tried’, ‘wanted’, ‘rated’ or even ‘nom’.

At the time, Facebook claimed that it was the most significant development to the platform since 2007 and that it would expand the capabilities and opportunities for social applications.

Among the companies to release applications include film review site Rotten Tomatoes and ticket-sales service Ticketmaster, with actions displayed on Timeline profiles and the Facebook ticker at the top right-hand corner of the screen. If a post receives comments, it can be promoted to the main News Feed, increasing the chances of a user’s friends investigating the app and possibly signing up, a major boost for developers.

Once installed, these apps will automatically share information with your friends, although it is promised that during the installation, the app will have to explain what is going to be shared and how.

A marketer’s dream

Mike Keating, enterprise solution director at Techlightenment said that this was a massive development for both consumers and marketers.

“Facebook is already re-writing the dictionary: “Like” is now synonymous with the social media platform, and with the launch of Open Graph Facebook is opening up a wealth of opportunities for users and brands to interact on the platform,” he said in a comment clearly based on remarks from September: “Facebook’s custom actions will give brands the ability to create their own actions and associated objects. This is a really important development for consumers.”

“For marketers, the impact is even greater,” he added. “Facebook is the biggest thing to happen to marketing for many years – never before have users given so much indication of the brands and the products with which they are engaged. Facebook has changed this forever, allowing marketers to construct content that is truly personalised to an individual.”

The Timeline profile was launched in December and is aimed at unlocking older information on a user’s profile which has been buried underneath the weight of newer posts. The new profile followed changes to the newsfeeds which occurred in September, including the addition of the real-time Facebook Ticket.

However it remains to be seen how the changes will be received by Facebook’s 750 million user base, which has proved notoriously resistant to change.