Opportunities Abound for Brands With Facebook’s Open Graph

Facebook opened up its long-awaited Open Graph for Timeline on Jan. 19 with 60 new social apps from an assortment of brands, including USA Today, Ticketmaster, Pinterest, Zynga, Rotten Tomatoes and TripAdvisor. They join existing ones from Hulu, the Washington Post and Spotify, among others.

With the Open Graph, brands can create apps complemented by actionable terms. What this means is that users no longer have to just “like” something on Facebook or a Web site. As Facebook says, “Timeline gives you an easy way to rediscover the things you shared, and collect your most important moments.” With that in mind, the social network released “watch,” “read” and “listen” functions for the apps that were rolled out in the months following Timeline's debut in September 2011.

Now, Facebook has taken it a step further. For the apps unveiled on Jan. 19, new action words include “want,” “own,” “crave,” “pin,” “go” and “see,” according to AllThingsD.

It’s automatic—and better defined—engagement. Brands no longer need to spend time trying to measure the meaning of a user “like.” Timeline now offers brands clearer, deeper metrics in order to better understand the user. The opportunities to target and reach users who have selected that they “want,” “crave” or to go “see” something can be endless. In addition, if a brand has the capabilities for developing a new application for Timeline, it will also have the option to create its own, new metric.

In announcing the release of Open Graph, Facebook also published an update to its app authorization platform for users. The new opt-in box offers a clearer explanation of what the app does and gives users the option to choose what kind of permissions they want to allow the app to have and who can see the content published by the app.

As is the case with all updates and redesigns from Facebook, it will take time for users to get accustomed to the new offerings. However, the adoption process might be expedited with new, enhanced privacy settings. And that can only be more good news for brands eager to get fans reading, watching, listening, wanting and craving.

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