It’s no news that apps able to operate across a variety of platforms, or Open Graph apps, offer superb and diverse sharing possibilities. Just the other day Facebook announced that users there share something on the order of a billion instances very day across their apps. Interest sharing, user data, and even a person’s network of pals can all be passed along, if a platform or website is Open Graph friendly that is.
The number and kinds of things that developers can and have leveraged using the Open Graph continues to escalate and improve. Sites like Expedia, Hotels.com, airbnb, and others, Pinterest and Foodspotting plus Zynga, and not to forget Foodily and Spotify, dozens niches and an array of portals that auto publish to Facebook, these can also be leveraged by other developers too. Below is a list of simple and interesting use cases for Open Graph utility.
BlogBang – From the simple, like this site’s use of the Open Graph for ensuring Facebook shares get special treatment, to the infinitely complex things to come, Facebook’s initiative here has if nothing else provided a developer integration conduit of immense power. BlogBang apparently hooked into the “matrix” of app friendliness via association with OpenGraphy, a company specializing in helping lead others into Open Graph uses. The image below shows one way BlogBang uses the Open Graph for aesthetic timeline goodness. This is one simple use case a lot of app developers can adopt.
Grafetee – This development we have been working with in Finland has a wide scope of use cases. The geo-location app – which leverages iOS and Android operating systems with new and existing services like Foursquare and Yelp, Wikipedia and its own bookmarking tools – can now warp into 100 other use scenarios. By integrating with Open Graph sites like Zillow and Expedia, Grafetee can be anything from an open house real estate tour guide (see screen) to a pal for families about to make a move. Hotel to real estate listing, even off to lunch, Grafetee can lead smart device users by the hand, literally. Simple bookmark a property, your hotel, the diner from your desktop before leaving home, then follow the blue G on your device when mobile. Smart huh?
Spotify – My favorite musical app that just so happens to use Open Graph to help listeners and music fans discover via “opt in” use of dynamic listening data. Spotify can integrate with Ticketmaster, for instance, to notify you when you are near a music event at your local. Location based stuff, being the next huge wave of smart use cases – will likely be tightly integrated with payment and directional tools. This is already happening in several spheres. The screen below shows my latest listening pleasure on my Facebook timeline, but this seemingly simple use of Open Graph possibility, is not in reality. The user preference and statistics underneath are powerful indeed. Tho nobody talks too much about how “opting in” ends up on your ad table. :)
Foodspotting - Another interesting notion that ends in a simple user utility, showing on Facebook all the food a user has cataloged on a map. While this may not seem so exciting, sharing food with friends, and the places to enjoy them, can be a powerful incentive. Robert Scoble, for instance, had a wonderful Scaloppine Di Vitello Al Tartufo in San Francisco, which I posted to my FB timeline as you can see below. Not rocket science, by any means, but imagine even smarter adaptations of this idea. Bon Apetitte!
Zynga – And about every other game platform under the sun has optimized for Facebook via Open Graph architecture. If you ever played a game on Facebook, chances are either it had something to do with FB developments along these lines, or it will. Aside the implications for monetization and for eCommerce of all kinds, one has to think at least a little, of how games have helped make the web go round. Zynga has, however, begun to move away from Facebook and toward their own playground. Still, as cool uses for Open Graph app deployments, games have to top the list. The image below shows the interact instance between Zynga and Facebook at the onset. I can’t chat with Mike Arrington (he is too busy) much any more, but Zynga can hook me up with a game against him.
Since Facebook announced their first 17 Open Graph partners at the 2011 f8 developer conference, the world of the web now seems ready to climb on board. As you can see, the uses Open Graph apps have chosen to apply range from the super simple alignment of thumbnails and post instances like BlogBang, to reverse engineered geo-location app smartness like that of Grafetee. The technology spawned by so much Facebook love, clearly continues to grow almost exponentially. What can we expect next? Just about anything you can imagine perhaps?