Posted November 24, 2010 9:32 am by with 0 comments

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So how does a website capturing 25% of all US based traffic grow? They take over your home page of course!

Recently, many Facebook users (myself included) have been presented with a gray bar at the top of the Facebook website inviting them to make Facebook their home page.

Facebook is using a subtle trick that isn’t much a trick at all; however, Facebook’s approach at bookmarketing is no-doubt convincing tens of thousands of people to change their home page to Facebook today.

The instructions in the gray bar are easy enough to follow and low-and-behold it works, but what is the magical technology behind this? Is it some Facebook JavaScript or Ajax wizardry?

Actually, it’s just a normal button linked to Facebook. In Firefox you can click and drag any text or image link to your home icon and make that link your home page. You can try it out by dragging this link to your home page icon… See. Now your home page has changed. Magic.

Unfortunately, this little trick doesn’t work in the latest versions of Internet Explorer, Opera, Safari or Chrome so I’m guessing the little gray bar is only appearing for Firefox users.

The whole approach by Facebook reminds me of an Internet Checkers opponent I faced in the late 90s. As I prepared my next move, my opponent chatted with me “Hit alt+f4 to change the checker colors to neon”. Being addicted to seeing neon colors I couldn’t resist and after hitting alt+f4 my Internet Checkers window closed, my opponent won by default and he was off to claim another victim on his road to Internet Checkers glory.

While Facebook may or may not care about its win-loss ratio in Internet Checkers, they do care about dominating the social networking world. By framing a fairly mundane yet rarely used feature of Firefox, Facebook is able to appear innovative without having done much beyond recognizing your browser and trying to convince you to change your home page.

The “does it work?” factor alone is likely netting hoards of Facebook users updating their home pages.

I like watching Facebook make an effort of browser based bookmarketing. In the rush of social networking, social news and social bookmarking services we often forget that some of the best bookmarks are those located right below the address bar. Facebook hasn’t lost sight of this and now even more of their users will be greeted by the voyeuristic satisfaction of knowing what their friends are up to, every time they open their browser.

So now I’d like to hear from you. What browser based bookmarketing techniques do you use?