Kabooom! Hear that? That’s the sound of the bomb that Facebook just dropped on the entire Internet. With the new Open Graph system that they have implemented, Facebook wants to plant themselves firmly on every website across the entire Internet. Perhaps your familiar many sites recently including links to post things to Facebook, Twitter, or Posterous. Facebook decided that instead of just allowing you to post it with a click, they want to track as much of that data as possible and thus pass much of that information on to website publishers.
The concept is simple. Facebook wants to be the stewards of comments and reactions to content on your site. In exchange they will help you push your content and give you tools to assist people in logging in and helping them find what they might like on your site (one big feature that hasn’t had much discussion.) Imagine going to a site and that site presenting you content that you are more interested in becasue Facebook knows what you’ve listed as interests on your profile page
As an example: On my Facebook page, I list that I like the St Louis Cardinals. As sites start to integrate this, perhaps one day I go to www.CNN.com and the site dynamically loads baseball scores that feature the St Louis Cardinals at the top of the page because of that. Of course the problem with this that needs to be considered is that many times our interests change or today we might be interested in politics or real estate news, while previously we were not.
But by far the most used portion of Open Graph so far has been the implementation of the Like button (which you can also brand as the Recommend button). The simple iFrame code can be dropped into any site and instantly with just a simple click, offer the ability for your site and pages to be included in users’ Facebook profile feed, and therefore perhaps placed in their friends’ live feed for all their friends to see (thus yielding you more traffic).
No matter which way you look at it, for or against Open Graph, the truth is you’ll only ignore it at your own peril. The fact is that there are 400 million people on Facebook and as evidenced in the past few days of usage, they sure like the like button.
So what does this mean for Realtors? It means that you should today find a way to place the like button on your site. You can find directions on how to implement on your site by visiting the Facebook Like Info Page.
One thing we’re working on is the ability for it to be included in our IDX listings, so that users can click one button and have a specific listings appear right on their page including the address, price, etc. More coming soon on Open Graph.
Update: I’ve been playing with WordPress plugins to do this automatically and after testing with numerous themes and versions, I’m recommending fbLikeButton. The plugin offers the functionality to place the Like button at the top or bottom of every page and / or post. You can also customize the terminology to Recommend and change the color scheme slightly. One recommendation I have is to change the height of the Like button to 50 pixels.