Facebook Platform at Graphing Social Patterns

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Ben Ling, director of Platform Product Marketing at Facebook, speaks about Facebook’s platform. Ben starts by telling a story about a dinner with folks from Flixter talking about changes in Facebook platform.

The focus is on creating long term value. He says their strategy has three parts: frictionless platform, leverage social graph, and world class applications.

Frictionless Platform

What they want in terms of making the platform frictionless for users

  • Helping users communicate
  • Meaningful activity
  • Valuable information
  • User trust

He describes the changes on the site’s experience an enhanced wall, profiles profile boxs, profile action links that increase application uses.

He says they also want to make it frictionless for developers. Shared reusable technology, core infrastructure, and viral distribution of applications are all parts of this strategy. They are licensing the technology to others like Bebo. They are also have a marketplace for developer resources that connect marketers to developers.

Ben discusses how they had users suggest translations and vote on results which resulted in a very scalable translation/localization process. He says that this can be used by developers to localize their applications.

Leveraging the social graph

Ben describes the power of Facebook as an asynchronous conversation with your friends. You update everyone efficiently about what’s going on. He describes the example of the Causes application and their Photo application, which is the largest photo application in the world.

For developers, we want social applications for Collaborative authoring and design, multi-player games, sharing experiences

World class applications

They see applications progressing to other industries and to productivity. Sports, health, religion are all attractive segments. He also describes how they will be providing commerce functionality with developer APIs, secure purchasing and new types of application monetization models.

Ben discusses how they want to increase user control. He describes the problem of having to invite 15 friends to get the results. They are now adding ability for users to complain. He says that they want to support applications that users support. He is looking for positive user value loops. He describes Bookshelf, Dogbook, and Quizer as positive examples.

Questions:

How do you see social driving ecommerce? A variety of experiences are inherently social and that will lead to new applications. Who’s going to do something, join them. (Sounds like MatchActivity.com)

What is timeframe for ecommerce? Later this year will take credit cards.

Who else has licensed the Facebook platform? Involved in a number of discussions – no announcements

Why limit number of invites? Want invites to be quality invites. Need to balance quantity with relevance.

[tags]gspwest08, Graphing Social, Facebook, Ben LIng[/tags]

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