There will be lots of news leaking about Facebook’s product announcements at their upcoming F8 Developer Conference in April. That’s because they’re already starting to test out a lot of the new stuff with third party developers, and once two people know a secret, it isn’t really a secret any more.
One of the new features we’ve been hearing about is the extension of Facebook Connect and the Facebook API to allow publishers to add a “Like” button to any piece of content on their site.
Sound trivial? It isn’t. This is likely part of Facebook’s Open Graph API project that will incentivize third party sites to interact deeply with Facebook by sharing content and associated metadata.
Today you can “share” content with Facebook via a simple button (you can see our implementation at the top of this post). The new Like feature goes way beyond the Share button, we’ve heard.
Good for publishers? Yes. But it’s also very, very good for Facebook as hundreds of thousands of websites will rush to format their content to exactly Facebook’s preference and send over all their data without a second thought.
One way to think of this, says a source with knowledge of the product, is this. Google spends billions of dollars indexing the web for their search engine. Facebook will get the web to index itself, exclusively for Facebook.
Yes, it’s a big idea. Or, as MG put it, the entire Internet will be turned into a tributary system for Facebook. And it all flows from a simple Like gesture, and a few other features we’ll be writing about shortly.