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Facebook’s Open Graph and What It Means To Conquering New Markets

April 27, 2011

If you are not yet familiar with Facebook’s powerful Open Graph tools, (now celebrating their first birthday), this is an excellent place to start.

Anyone can take the Open Graph for a test drive (as long as they aren’t blocked from Facebook via firewall). Just type “http://graph.facebook.com/[any Facebook username]” into a browser, and the Open Graph will show you very basic information for that user. If you try “http://graph.facebook.com/[any Facebook username]/friends,” the Open Graph might politely inform you that you don’t have permission to access the list of friends, as Facebook privacy settings apply to the Open Graph. To access a user’s “basic information,” you would need to ask the user for permission to do so. To get an idea of what the Open Graph would have provided if you did have the proper permission, you can view the Open Graph data samples and see what kind of information you could glean about your own friends, likes, groups and even your checkins. (Facebook will create a temporary permission token for whoever is signed into Facebook on the browser being used to see the samples it provides).

Now imagine that you had permission to “access my friends’ information” — you would be able to see many of the same fields for all of the user’s friends. (Although, everyone’s privacy settings are respected, and items like email addresses aren’t provided without direct personal permission.)

With this data, you would be able to customize your marketing based on the fact that some of your customers know each other and that they share interests. In other words, this is where good social media marketers really start earning their paychecks.

Read all about how you can access the social graph as part of a carefully constructed social media launch plan…

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