Facebook revealed its plan to become center of the social web today at the F8 Developer Conference in San Fransisco, CA. They announced the Open Graph API protocol as well as the ability to integrate websites and apps on the web all within the boundaries of your social network making the platform even stronger than it currently is today.
Partners such as Pandora, Microsoft and Yelp are all hopping on board as the potential for this new technology is endless. But the real question we want to know is what does this mean for user privacy?
Even today there are people that are scared to death to sign their life over to Facebook – which I don’t really get…I mean what are you really trying to hide?! But regardless this is an issue that Facebook has always faced and it continues to be an issue as information becomes more available as technology improves.
If you remember, in November 2007 Facebook’s Beacon advertising experiment didn’t end as they would have hoped but with a class action lawsuit. When Facebook attempted the privacy overhaul in December it wasn’t deemed really that private by users. Facebook continues to make steps in the right direction of privacy settings as their latest attempt was better received. I happen to agree with Mark Zuckerberg’s “public is the new social norm” stance but for others this is a red flag and will insure that Facebook continues to protect users even more, especially as so many other programs and apps on the web can easily integrate with Facebook.
So what will the differences be?
Well it appears that the way developers create the API is going to be more flexible and will not have such tight restrictions on how long an app can hold on to certain data. But at the end of the day this isn’t that big of a deal as most developers were working around this anyway.
The big thing is that Facebook will be getting rid of it’s Facebook Connect branding and instead it will be available to site owners and will look different for each person logging it as it will tell you how many of your friends have logged in to the site as well. This feature has always been there but now it is just easier to access this information up front. So again, what changes is how that data can be displayed to different people and how it can be integrated in different ways. This feature is actually really neat for us that love being public but definitely more public than before.