Guide to the Facebook Open Graph

Open Graph is Facebook's new protocol which allows 3rd party websites and webapps to connect user activity on-site with user activity on Facebook. Through defining "objects" (piece of content) and "actions" (watch, read, listen etc) Open Graph enables your product to become an integral part of the user's and their friend's Facebook activity.

Through integration with the Open Graph API, third party content appears to users as updates through the timeline, news feed and ticker -- allowing users to interact with content directly through Facebook, while observing the activities of their friends and receiving social recommendations accordingly.

This stuff is gold dust for any SEOs/Developers working with sites that regularly produce or host engaging online content/resources - be that blog posts, videos, apps, images, informational resources or any content form which involves active engagement from the user base.  If you've got any sort of engaged community that typically visits your site on a regular/semi-regular basis -- you need to be thinking about building an open graph app in order to catapult that engagement to a new level and really begin to see ROI from social media. It's not complicated to do and to explain the whole system to us, Distilled have brought in an expert.

Mixcloud's Mat Clayton, a frequent speaker at distilled conferences popped into the office to give us the low-down on Open Graph -- what it is, how it works and how you can use it to increase traffic and user engagement.    

Here are the topics and resources covered in the video:

1. What is Open Graph?

Mat covers the basics of Open Graph, explaining "Objects" and "Actions" concept and how some of the biggest sites in the world are using it to improve social media ROI. For more information, Facebook have a great page Explaining the Open Graph and a page Explaining how the ticker works with Apps.

2. Enabling your App for Social Graph

Mat explains the process of creating an app, some of the technical elements involved, and how you need to think of the Open Graph concepts as relating to elements of your content. For further reading, check out Facebook's excellent tutorial for building an Open Graph App. To start creating your app, you will need to register at Facebook Developers Center

3. Social Plugins with Open Graph

Facebook's social plugins, such as Facepile are the core of building functionality into your site, which encourages users to link up their activity on your site with their activities on Facebook. Mat explains the conversion value of these social plugins with Open Graph functionality.

4. Authenticated Referrals

Mat explains what authenticated referrals are and how the system helps to dramatically improve brand awareness and engagement from users who may have never even visited your site prior to discovery through Facebook.

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