Thursday, April 22, 2010
In my opinion the coolest feature they launched was a universal "Like" button that can easily be added to your wesbite. It actually didn't take us long to implement this feature on all of our shoe design pages on Shoes of Prey. Here's an example you can try out.
When a visitor to your website clicks the "Like" button on your website, a news story is instantly posted on their Facebook wall. As a developer you can customize this news story through special meta tags that are placed on the same page as the like button. There is also a new analytics feature that allows you to see what URLs people are sharing on your site.
The code to get this working is quite trivial - and could be implemented by anyone with a basic knowledge of HTML. You can find the instructions here. The new API is worth a look too, if only because it seems cleaner and better documented than their old one.
What does this all mean? Well, for a start, I'm excited by the prospect of very easily allowing our users to interact with Facebook. It will make our site more visible on Facebook which should mean Facebook continues to be a strong source of traffic for us.
More broadly it strengthens Facebook's offering to businesses. Clearly they are trying to insert themselves directly between their users and businesses. I wonder at what point they will transition to charging for this service. Probably sooner rather than later if only because it will a decent filter for silly/inconsequently content. Too much of that, and people will stop using Facebook. Alternatively, if "likes" never see the light of day either users will stop clicking on the button, or publishers will simply remove them completely.
It's also going to be interesting to see what Facebook does with all of this data. An obvious application would be to provide personalized content recommendations based on your history.
If you've implemented some of the new features on your site, let us know how you are using them in the comments below.
Posted by Mike Knapp at 3:58 PM