Facebook F8 is the preeminent Facebook developer event. Typically held once a year to announce significant FB programming updates, past announcements made at F8 include the introduction of the original Facebook Platform (2007) and Facebook Connect(2008).
This year was no different. In fact, the changes announced at F8 2010 speak to Facebook’s overarching agenda, which will likely influence the web in its entirety for years to come.
In essence, Facebook is looking to become the (branded) highway to all the great pit stops on the web, providing users with a direct route to all the major cities (features) they are looking to visit. Pandora, Yelp, ESPN – Facebook wants to create a permanent knowledge base.
Here is how they’re going to do it:
Goodbye, Facebook Connect:
Facebook Connect, the log-in system that lets users sign-in to multiple sites using their Facebook log-in info will disappear. It will be replaced by something even better – something that solves one of users top 5 web frustrations; a universal Facebook passcode that will automatically connect users to multiple websites across the web.
Hello, Open Graph
Right now, many websites interact with Facebook, be it through Facebook Connect or through Facebook Apps. Problem is, the data is fragmented and it’s difficult for users to see all the connections that exist.
Facebook is in the process of changing these seeming ephemeral links so that users can see the full picture of the complete user experience on the web. Sound like a big project? It is, which is why Facebook is bringing in the big online guns to assist. Partners include Yelp, Pandora, IMDB, ESPN, Microsoft, and 25 more. Open Graph will replace Facebook Connect.
Facebook will launch their own currency called Facebook Credits for all Facebook purchases. This will likely create some static as dollars and Euros will have to be converted, but hopefully should be fairly easy. Microsoft has tried this effort to mixed effect before with its “Microsoft Points.” Sounds like another way to integrate the Facebook brand within user experiences to us.
You may have already seen the new “Like” plug-in. It’s already available on a few sites (and pictured above), but it’s now possible to ‘Like’ a Facebook group from the original brand site. It’s a very adoptable plug-in that brands should definitely take advantage of, as it will make it easier than ever for users to “Like” brands on Facebook
It also signals that Facebook will be expanding its empire beyond its own brand walls. Notice that Facebook isn’t adding location-based programming; it’s not attacking Foursquare or even Twitter with these updates. Of anything, it is poising itself to become the next Google.