Live-Blogging Facebook’s f8 Developer Conference: The Open Graph Launches

We’re at Facebook’s f8 developer conference. Here’s our live blog. Founder Mark Zuckerberg is on stage:

Three years ago at our first f8, we launched Facebook platform. Together we started an industry.  Two years ago we announced Connect.

Three themes today:

First theme is “open graph:” Today the web exists mostly as a series of unstructured links between pages. Before it was unstructured updates posted to a stream (to create connections on open web). It was powerful but it was just a start. Does not understand the semantic connections (meaningful connections) between things.

The open graph puts people at center of the web. Meaningful connections between people and things. Makes the web instantly social and open wherever visitors go.

I’m friends with this person, I’m attending this event, I like this event. Today with the open graph, we’re going to bring all of these together.

Our second theme is “instantly social.” This means using the graph to make meaningful connections everywhere you go. The less friction, the faster they can get there. Making it simple.

Today, there are more than 400 million people on the site. For those users who aren’t on Facebook yet they probably will be soon.

We’re seeing even faster growth in other areas. It’s taken only three years to get to that number on mobile.

Connect has spread even faster. It took only 1 year to get to our mobile devices.

To get started today, we’re making some important policy changes.

We’re going to combine all the permissions dialogs into a single permissions dialog. Someone comes to your site, you can show them the dialog with all the different permission that you need. It’s a lot easier for users to figure out what they’re sharing.

The second change is this: We’ve had this policy where you can’t store and cache any data for more than 24 hours. We’re going to go ahead and get rid of that policy.

No more having to make the same API calls every day. We think that this step is going to make building with Facebook platform a lot simpler.

Credits is also still in private beta.

Part of the graph that Yelp has mapped out — it’s separate. You post something to the stream, it’s there for a few hours, then it floats away. The surfaces that consume the stream don’t actually form a connection. Don’t connect you and the places you’re connecting to.

Once it’s possible to understand how to connect these across services, we can put a review about your favorite restaurant along with all the others that you like. All these links will point back to the original object.

Our goal today is to use the Open Graph to have social experiences everywhere they go.

A few pieces of new technology:

– A completely new version of our platform called the Graph API. Makes simple to write graph connections back to the API, includes standard for how to represent the objects.

– Series of social plugins to make a site instantly social without having to write any code. Example: “Like” plugin. You can like a story on CNN and you can see all the activity that your friends have done on CNN. I have this experience instantly when I show up to CNN. They can use social plugins and I can have this great experience.

Head of product Bret Taylor comes on stage.

Like most social startups, we spent a lot of time trying to get more users. There was a magic number on FriendFeed for users who signed up on site. If they didn’t find 5 friends, they wouldn’t come back. We spent a huge amount of time trying to put users in. We launched an address book.

Late last year we put Facebook Connect on our home page. We didn’t have huge expectations. But it turned out to be the best business decision FriendFeed ever made. Facebook users 4x as likely to sign up. If we hadn’t been acquired by Facebook, we would have removed all our other sign-up buttons.

On the one hand, I was CEO and our growth was growing. I was also a programmer. Every time I wanted to do anything with Facebook’s platform, I had to weigh down with PHP code.

We’re changing that. We have three great product announcements today:

1. Social plugins

You’re going to hear a lot of people talking about themes.

Have your site content personalized based on your social network and interests. Just one line of HTML.

The most important social network social button is the like button. The most important mechanism is the like button. No dialog, no login.

By lowering the friction, we’ll dramatically increase sharing. Little friction, just an iframe. No register with Facebook, no nothing. Just the iframe. One line of HTML.

All these social plugins aren’t just about distribution. Facebook is serving these plugins.

We know who the user is. Even if we’ve never visited CNN before, if four of my friends like that article, I’ll see their names. But I’m getting personalized social concept.

Once you put the “like” button on your site, it’s social.

Transporting news feed to your site. Shows all activity restricted to your site’s domain. You can implement it with your domain.

Also launching recommendations plugin. Based on global activity, personal activity. We’ll suggest what’s most relevant. Truly personalized recommendations. Single line of HTML

Sign in with Facebook plugin: Shows other friends from Facebook who have already joined. Think about how much that would improve the sign-up rate. Finally we have the social bar. This is the kitchen sink of plugins: like, activity, Facebook chat. Cool thing is that it’s an all-in-one social experience.

That form factor will work on any web site. Looks nice under almost any UI. Not sure where to put buttons? Use the bar.

We have these like buttons powering social. Where do likes go when they come back to

Trend has been around real-time streams, reverse chronological lists. It’s a simple interface, but limited in a lot of ways. Only people who can see what I share are those sitting in front of the computer for 3 hours.

If I ‘like’ a band on Pandora, this only has value for 3 hours (in the feed). But, we have a music field in the profile — why are bands I put in when I joined Facebook 4 years ago so much more important than what I liked today?

2. Open Graph Protocol

Set of meta tags that you can mark up your pages. These tags tell Facebook when type of page it is. Examples of tags: title, type, genre, city. Tags show what type of real-world object it represents. Take ‘Green Day’ as an example. Tags would show that ‘Green Day’ means a punk rock band from Berkeley, CA. Semantic markup shows what it means.

With Open Graph Protocol, each webpage now has a semantic markup. When a user clicks like on the page, semantic info is used to mark that content on Facebook.

IMDB has pages marked up with these tags. There’s a Like button on every movie page. Users can go to share just like they do today, but now Facebook can see that you like Godfather, and that it’s a movie from 1972. And, it’ll go in profile. First order object. Go to profile and hover over link. See it’s from IMDB.

Semantic meaning will be represented even in search results.

Open graph protocol designed to represent anything. Launching with 30 partner sites.

All categories of likes and interests. Just as easily as you can connect — can also connect with athletes. Tomorrow’s the NFL draft. Toby Gerhardt in draft. I’m going to ESPN button. Click like. All features of

Can publish updates to all users. Tomorrow when Toby goes to the Browns, ESPN can send update to all people who like Toby.

Enables long-term communication channel between ESPN and users.

For years we’ve been saying we’re an open platform. For first time link to pages off Facebook. I’m updating with Like buttons all around the internet. Defined by things all around the web.

Today, defined by hyperlinks connecting static. We think connections between people and things they care about will define internet experiences.

Our goal is to accelerate.

3. Graph API:

Our attempt to re-imagine our core server side API in context of new graph structure. Re-architected from ground up.

Primary goal: two debugging tools you need are web browser and Curl. Shouldn’t need to download SDK and 20,000 lines of documentation.

Graph API: every object has unique ID. Every object has unique ID whether that’s a profile, a group, of an interest item. Developers can download object info from

Representations of graph are represented equally elegantly.

I’m a member of many groups. I’m a friend of Zuck, etc.

To download my friends, /btyalor/friends/
For my Likes, you can get from btaylor/likes/

This applies for every single object in Facebook.

New feature next year? Download object with new ID or new name. All code will continue to work perfectly.

New graph API not just a veneer. The one I’m most excited about is search. We have 400 million users sharing 25 billion things a month. Giving developers ability to search all public updates. For first time making web page for a brand, you can say what are people saying?

Also baking in real-time. Using web hooks, you can register callbacks, ping whenever users update wall posts, etc.

Now, you’d need to pull from our servers 1,000 times a day. Huge win not just for developers but for users.

Together with industry leaders. Adopting OAuth 2.0 standard.

First reason this is cool: industry standard. Code will work on Facebook and other adopted standards. Expect it to be widely adopted.

Objectively so much more awesome: Simple. Implement in 5 minutes.

Available on graph API and all others.

Zuck is back on….

We’ve worked with more than 75 partners.

When we launch later today, we expect we’ll serve 1 billion like buttons on the web within 24 hours on the web.

The web is at a really important turning point. The default has been that most things aren’t social and don’t use real identity. Ever since we launched Connect, implementations have been superficial. But this is starting to change.

Use connect for the entire experience. Now with open graph and social plugins, even more sites use instantly social experiences without even having to Connect.

Default will be social on the web. From ground up. Just one more cool thing: A little glimpse of the future.

When we started thinking about a web where the default was social. Just a small group of trusted companies… go to site without having to click Connect.

What if these sites already knew public information about users. Microsoft:

Today, Microsoft is announcing today. Online version of Office suite. Way it works is like this. Go to doc, click, see doc, that’ll take you straight to

Can show you without re-authenticate. Can click on blue bar, turn off all personalization because you clicked on link to see doc. Immediately you can see the document, write, share comments. All of the power of Office online. With Facebook.

Assumption is that every user would have identity and friends. Will be ready later today.

Another example: Pandora.

Now, for first time, when you show up, it will be able to start playing music from bands you’ve been playing across the web. Start playing music, show which friends like similar music. Click on them.

Show music they like. You can say that you like different bands. Form a connection, form it in the open graph. Use those preferences in other applications.

As a closing thought, quick story: my girlfriend is in medical school.

She told me this story where she was in a lecture on what it means to be a med student. The dean asked question: who had experience where it occurred that taking care of people and human life was important. Everyone had an anecdote. The dean went on to say he’d done a similar exercise in law school class. Asked who had significant early memory about caring people is important. No one put their hand up.

Don’t ask — how many have a significant early memory about fairness.

I was thinking — what would that be for our community. People who spend their lives making things. A lot of my memories about if more information was available, more open and transparent.

We have a lot of early memories. The world could be a lot better, and we could make it that way. The world can be a lot better, and we’re going to make it that way.

There’s an old saying that when you go to heaven all of your friends are there. Let’s make it that way.