Facebook’s Ticker shows the music listening, article reading, and video watching activity of your friends. However, to join friends in consuming that content users have to first hover over the Ticker story before clicking through. Facebook wants more users interacting with Open Graph apps to create more shareable activity that populates the Ticker and powers ad targeting. To further this end, Facebook is testing one-click Listen, Read, and Watch buttons on Ticker stories that instantly open apps.
These new buttons for consuming media shared by friends shouldn’t be confused with social plugins for websites Facebook might soon launch, including rumored “Want” and “Own” buttons for ecommerce sites. Those plugins could allow users to share a new activity story back to Facebook, which would then appear in the Ticker and might display one of these new consumption buttons. So far we’ve only spotted Listen and Read button, but Watch will most likely appear as well.
While some Open Graph apps like Spotify have become runaway successes, others like Rdio are struggling to gain new users. Facebook is depending on developers to join the Open Graph application platform to get users sharing more. CEO Mark Zuckerberg said at f8 that his goal for Facebook was not increasing its user count but growing the volume of content shared through the network. That can’t happen unless Facebook can lure developers with the potential for viral growth.
These one-click Listen, Read, and Watch buttons instantly start an app’s authorization flow or take users directly to content if that app is already installed. They’re only being seen by a few users right now. However, if rolled out they should reduce friction in trying new apps and help them attain the viral growth that will make the Open Graph platform attractive to more developers.