Facebook Connect launched in late 2008. And now, a year and a half later, some 250,000 sites around the web are using it. Meanwhile, Facebook’s new social plugins (the kind using the new Open Graph) have been out for three weeks. Already, those are on over 100,000 sites Facebook confirmed today.
That’s pretty amazing when you think about it. At this rate, it will take just a couple months for these new social plugins to permeate the web in the same way that Facebook Connect took a year and a half to do. And it seems to suggest that while millions of users seem to be outraged by some of the privacy issues, and the media is ripping Facebook apart for the tools, most content providers on the web don’t seem to care. Or they do, but the lure of connecting with Facebook’s nearly 500 million users is simply too strong.
In a post on its developer blog, Facebook doesn’t address the privacy issues of the new features (most of which are related to the “Instant Personalization” feature which is separate from the simple plugins) at all. Instead, they choose to accentuate the positive, noting that thanks to the ease-of-use of these new plugins, adoption is growing at this incredible rate. This is apparently exactly what they were hoping for. Two weeks ago, Facebook announced that 50,000 sites had integrated the plug-ins, and now that has already doubled. This means that Facebook is getting billions of impressions every single day thanks to this adoption.
“We think the story behind these stats is more important than the stats themselves. As we’ve found on Facebook, people share, read, and generally engage more with any type of content when it’s surfaced through friends and people they know and trust. The results above support this. We’re bringing activities that have been social in the offline world, such as sharing news, reviews, and sports enthusiasm, and giving sites a way for their users to experience their content with friends,” Justin Osofsky writes on the Developer Blog.
As we noted last night, there are some very real security holes in the new “Instant Personalization” features. Facebook was able to shut this one down quickly, but you can probably expect to see more issues as the feature becomes more and more popular on the web.
And it will keep getting more and more popular because we’ve entered the Age of Facebook. For each person out there bitching about the new features, seemingly dozens are quietly installing the code to link their site to Facebook’s graph. They’re taking over.