Improve Social Connectivity and Encourage Facebook Users to Share Contents
“Facebook is boring; there is nothing left to talk about.”
I have to admit, that I thought alike, but something changed my mind.
After reading Sarah’s blog post about Facebook and how business people and Facebook users alike can use it to either attract new customers or save money, I became interested in the things Facebook can do to improve companies’ chances to compete against other businesses.
Just like my fellow students who publish their post on this blog, I am quite intrigued by the fact that marketing and business is all around us and that things as ordinary as the social media site Facebook can help a business to have more success with their web appearance.
I am one of the many people who log on to Facebook on a regular basis in order to check news and communicate with friends.
It was luck only, that I became aware of the little add for Facebook Live, promoting the ‘Facebook and Girls in Tech Hackathon’. Since I am a girl myself and interested in how Facebook might work, I watched the video and learnt that Facebook Live was Facebook’s official live video streaming channel, which tackles questions about content, technique and employees.
The ‘Facebook and Girls in Tech Hackathon’ gives women the possibility to show their expertise on the topic of programming and hacking. The livestream I watched was hosted by Randi Zuckerberg, the marketing director of Facebook, who was giving female members of the technology apartment of Facebook the possibility to explain what the social network has to offer for business people to connect their websites with Facebook and therefore, reach more people and be more successful.
After watching the introduction I wanted to know more and dived further into research. I found the Facebook Platform which provides third party website owners with tools to make their sites connect with Facebook.
How to connect one’s websites with Facebook?
The three main components which are presented by the Facebook Platform staff and which are destined to help create a more successful business website are the Graph API, Social Plugins and Open Graph Protocol. (video)
To know more about these tools, I watched several videos on the topic and googled the terms I was interested.
The so – called social graph is the core concept of Facebook which describes essentially the connections of people on Facebook, their interests, likes and so on. The Graph API (application programming interface) serves as a tool to find out what these objects, like photos, events and preferred pages, are.
Basically, every object on Facebook has an ID and the Graph API enables developers and website owners to read and write data to Facebook.
Social Plugins like the Facebook Like, Send and Login Button can be implemented in a company’s website, as well as the possibility to give for example Recommendations via one’s Facebook account
Additionally, the Open Graph Protocol enables a website owner to connect one’s web content with the services of Facebook. For example, when liking things on a website that uses the Open Graph Protocol, e.g. a movie site, it will directly show in one’s Likes and Interests Section of one’s Facebook profile.
All these alteration to one’s webside can be easily made with some knowledge of html programming.
However, even though now, I knew a lot about the techniques, I became aware that the only provider of information I had so far, was Facebook itself.
What do these changes mean to Facebook Users?
To know more about possible problems I googled ‘Facebook Open Graph + problems’ but was not really satisfied with the outcome.
Instead, it came to my mind that probably one of the biggest problem of an application which makes access to data so very easy, was the loss of privacy, so my next query was about the given safety functions.
I learnt through my research that Facebook had problems with privacy and security issues before. Take for example the advertisement systems Beacon, that allowed a data flow between Facebook and external websites to make user specific advertisement possible. However, after a lot of discussion about privacy and a class-action lawsuit, the service was discontinued in September 2009.
Most of the blogs and websites I visited, explained that one could easily set privacy setting in a way that external users could not use information, the Facebook owner is reluctant to share with others.
But of course, one will never know for sure whether one’s personal data is absolutely safe.
However, Facebook Statistics tell us that the possibility to connect one’s website with Facebook is very much appreciated.
To this day more than 2.5 million websites have connected with Facebook and more than 250 million people use these services on external websites.
It appears that these Facebook services are connecting more and more people and their interests and therefore, give website owners a broader audience and probably a resulting profit.