Facebook will on Wednesday launch the Open Graph applications it first debuted last September, sources told AllThingsD. These are the apps made by outside developers that “frictionlessly” and continuously share users’ actions back to Facebook after a user has given permission once.
The new apps behave similarly to the “read,” “listen” and “watch” Open Graph applications that have already rolled out in the past few months, which include The Washington Post, Spotify and Hulu. So, every time your friends read an article or listens to a song, you might now learn about it on Facebook, and possibly even join them at the same time.
We can save the examination of how this plays out for when it, gulp, actually plays out. If the early indicators that I have seen with regard to Spotify, The Washington Post etc this could be one of the most annoying developments in Facebook for end users in a long time. But that’s me speculating isn’t it. Please forgive me.
As for advertisers there will be enough people buying into the frictionless sharing that Facebook is proposing to make this a success. Otherwise, why would Facebook be going through all this trouble?
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So let’s predict what will happen as Facebook makes what could be one of their last big announcements before a quiet period if they are indeed planning a Spring IPO.
- Facebook has big announcement in San Francisco for the press (the cool kids)
- Industry blogs go crazy with opinions based on no real information to go on other than speculation, conjecture and the desire to get more traffic
- The people who care about this (those closest to the tech world) go crazy and complain because this move by Facebook is now surely the end of the world as we know it
- At least one “well-known” person gets some press because they close their Facebook account
- Google+ fan boys (i.e. the Google employees who were bonused based on the performance of social initiatives from the search giant) make their pitch for everyone to come over to Google+
- A few people who represent the commoners complain that they don’t get it and will be leaving Facebook
- There is so much sharing that Facebook users will have to take a “binge and purge” approach in order to not get bloated on all the “information” that will be coming down the pike
- A week after the announcement everyone will have moved on to five other things to complain about, predict or whatever
So strap into your seats. This will be a bumpy and rather uncomfortable ride. Your best bet may be to actually wait and see what happens to your experience with Facebook and then make a decision whether you can live with it or not. Guess what? Facebook is betting that just about everyone will stick around no matter what is said. I suspect they will be correct.