lunes, 3 de mayo de 2010

The Future of Facebook

Well, my friends, I will post a summary of the main talk at f8, the FB developer conference, that I have just viewed deferred. Basically they comment broadly the evolution of the Facebook API available for apps and how was implemmented the new interconnection with other sites more or less social.
  • New Facebok Input: now the Facebook's partner sites (e.g. CNN and IMDB) can include a open markup called Open Graph Protocol to incorporate a standard semantic reference into the social information. For example sports, celebrities, friends and places can be unified by this structured and extensible information. The important issue to remark here is that Facebook wants to receive as input this social data, that is, they want to process social information from third parties for agregation on their own feeds. For example I recommended an article into my FB feed from CNN's site.
  • New Facebook Output: the same way as FB consumes social content from their strategic partners, these partners will be able with a few little HTML lines to enable social life into their classic, but slightly anti-social websites. That is, now FB will register relations from external sites and this relations will be shown externally also. This is what is called Social Plugins.
  • New API: this is the most interesting area for me as a social network and public information researcher. The new API, called Graph API, is the same but simpler because it uses standards OAuth and JSON. Also access to URLs is more uniformly and clearly available. Something new in the API, I think, are the callbacks for realtime alerts. Also remarkable is the removal of the akward restriction of a 24 hour limit to the API cookies, this was previously bypassed for one user but not for social apps.
  • New Currency: also they are trying to unify their FB dollars, called credits. That is, there will be an only virtual currency in FB, in the future.
  • New policy to share data with third parties: another minor but strategic novelty is the unification of the sharing with third party apps configuration. That is now I am only able to share everything or nothing with any external app, there is no intermediate point. Configuration granularity was lowered, before an item-by-item check-list was available.
Summarizing, FB wants new structured data inputs from third parties, wants to relate socially this third-party data and show the information externally in other domains, FB keeps the same general model in the FB platform/API but making it more fluid and realtime, also wants to unify virtual currrency inside their platform, and reduces abruptly the granularity of user configuration related to third-party access to user data via FB platform apps.

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