A few years ago I started speaking and writing about how your personal attitudes, opinions and values will be the new currency of analytics. The future is here and was announced at the recent F8: Facebook developer’s conference and it will affect you.
Companies will be able to target you directly when you need a specific product. Have a cold? See a pain reliever ad. Planning a trip? See travel sites and destination ads, and watch them evolve campaigns to be more personal as they learn more about you. Scary? Yes.
The news is still emerging on this, but if you are aware the basics, you can be aware of what you post. And if you are in business, you can start thinking of the possibilities – and IF you want to venture into this and to what degree. And if you’re still ignoring social media, read some of my other columns.
Basically, the Facebook OpenGraph program will enable any page on the web to have the functionality of a Facebook page. A ReadWriteWeb article may have summarized it best: “This new API [code] turns Facebook into a read/write storage of users’ tastes. And not just one user – all Facebook users.”
So Why Now?
“The web is at a really important turning point right now,” according to Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerburg, speaking at the F8 Facebook developer’s conference. “Until recently, the default on the web is that most things aren’t social and most things don’t use your real identity… But recently this is really starting to change.”
“We’re building toward a web where the default is social. Every application and product will be designed from the ground up to use real identity and friends.”
And whether you like it or not, with one simple line of HTML code in a web page, and any web page, the world will change. When you arrive at a web site using this code, you will see a notification on the top of the page, with an opt out option, according to the Facebook privacy page.
My cynical side says a lot of your psychographic information could eventually go pretty far and could be subject, like all new data sources, to misuse and misinterpretation. For goodness sake, people can’t even interpret web behaviors correctly, what will Facebook be doing with the products and political views you favor, the foods you dislike? Which political campaigns will a dislike of broccoli ruin (or help) next?
Would you like to see some of your dataset that’s being passed? Type: http://graph.facebook.com/yourname in a browser where “yourname” is your username on Facebook. There is more, but this is a taste.
Local review social site Yelp.com is among the first of 75 new partners in the program that lets you bring your Facebook identity without signing in. After the first week, according to Mashable, over 50,000 web sites are now using the new platform, adding more likes and dislikes to my social graph which would interface with everyone else’s on Facebook.
A few years ago there was an afternoon cartoon called Pinky and the Brain. Each episode would end with this exchange:
Pinky: “Gee, Brain, what do you want to do tonight?”
The Brain: “The same thing we do every night, Pinky—try to take over the world!”
Facebook may have just done that.