Facebook Privacy – Open Graph: The Simple Guide

So Facebook’s Open Graph is where we’ve headed, but as much as it’s causing excitement in the development world, it’s causing confusion in the real world. We’re mostly oblivious to it, but there’s bits of us scattered all across the web in different networks. In a plan of what seems to be world wide web domination, Facebook want to bring these all together using social plug-ins and Open Graph. Confused already? Read on…

Isn’t this already done using Facebook Connect you ask?

  • Well yes in a way it is. Facebook can already connect to you to other companies sites and share your information with them GIVEN PERMISSION by the click of a button, but Open Graph is taking this a giant leap further. It’s default is ON so as soon as you access a website, your public information is immediately shared eg statuses, friends lists, interests. No permission is required.

  • Using a variety of social plug-ins, other companies can give their web sites Facebook functionality. Take for example the ‘Like’ button – you’re seeing those pop up everywhere these days. So you click the ‘Like’ button on eg, Yelp because you’ve seen a restaurant you like.

What does this actually do?

  • Well first you’ve established an official connection between your Facebook profile and Yelp which will show on your profile, just like you use Pages at present. Whatever you ‘like’ may show on a view that your friends see.  The next time you search for a restaurant in Facebook, your results are likely to comprise first of all of the restaurants your friends have ‘liked’. When you visit a website you’re connected with, a Facebook box may pop up to show what you’re friends have liked or interacted with on the site. Just beware that there seems little control of which friends information is displayed to so assume everyone can see.

If, like me, this makes you feel a little uncomfortable then you may want to review your privacy settings. Turning off defaults is a little trickier than you would expect. An excellent guide on how to do this can be found here.

Long gone are the days where Facebook was just a way of linking in with your friends. It’s focus is business and in no time Facebook will be very much weaved in the underlying structure of many parts of the web. It seems to be social on the web nowadays is like selling your soul.

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