Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg once said that social media users are not looking for privacy. The statement that generated controversy seems to take on a new dimension with the presentation of a new tool, which the service calls “Open Graph”.
The novelty, revealed this week during the F8 conference, includes the integration of “Like” buttons on third party sites where members of the social network will be able to identify items they like, generating an automatic update of their profile with this information.
In this way, friends will be able to follow each other’s interests even when browsing outside the social network. It will be like “having friends who guide us online,” the founder of the social network told the BBC. And it will also be the moment when the expression “follow” someone on Facebook takes on a whole new dimension, we risk it.
Preferences are recorded by the service, similar to what happens with other information shared by users on the social network, allowing to generate a compilation of interests but also “offer a more personalized experience” when accessing partner sites.
This means that, through the preferences previously expressed by the user, they will be able to present content (and advertising) that is more directed to their interests.
From news to photos, music, movies, clothes or shoes, the list of things to like can grow as new partners join the protocol. For now news sites like CNN or the New York Times, the IMDb cinema specialist, the ESPN sports channel, Pandora’s music or … Levi’s are confirmed.
In this case, for example, in addition to integrating the “Like” buttons on your virtual store, the brand will create a “friend store” where registered customers on Facebook will be able to access the list of favorite items from their contacts and “go shopping” online with them “(!), in what the company classifies as creating an experience that” will change the way people shop online “.
Another partner is Microsoft, which introduced the possibility for users of its Docs.com tool, who are registered (and authenticated) on Facebook, to participate in collaborative editing and sharing documents with their contacts on the social network.
What Mark Zuckerberg says is “the most transformative thing” that Facebook has ever done on the Web, with the aim of “putting the user and friends at the center” of the network, promises to take the idea of ”sharing” the service to another level and there is no lack of anyone who raises questions about privacy guarantees. Nevertheless, the company has already ensured that the new functionality is only intended for those who choose to use it.
The presentation of Open Graph marks another step on the path to “build a Web that is a social defect”, which the responsible person assumes as one of his objectives. People are discovering a new way of searching for information, using not only search engines, but what their friends have already discovered.
The monetization of the popularity achieved by the service, which has more than 400 million users, or a serious threat to Google are other issues raised by those who have followed the evolution.
And then there are those who wonder about the huge amount of data that is going through Facebook. “The idea of socializing the Web is indeed impressive, bold and a little scary,” Om Malik, founder and editor of the blog specializing in GigaOM technology, told the BBC.
The expert also warned that the social network was not particularly detailed about the control given to users over information about what they do on the Web.