Today Facebook will be announcing a number of new products and services at the company’s f8 developer event. While there are numerous rumors and speculation about what will be announced, we’ll start to find out what’s being announced in the next few minutes as Mark Zuckerberg and Bret Taylor take the stage. If you want to see streaming video of the event you can do so here. We will be posting coverage on our site as well.
[10:04 Pacific] We’re waiting for the event to get started.
[10:05] David Kirkpatrick reports that Microsoft is making a big partnership announcement with Facebook. More to come.
[10:06] We’re told that Facebook will not be making a location announcement just as we wrote last night.
[10:09] The audience is being told the event is about to get started.
[10:11] Mark Zuckerberg is on the stage.
[10:12] Mark is explaining how last year Facebook launched Connect at last year’s event and today’s announcement will be the “most transformative thing we’ve done for the web”. The first will be the Open Graph. The Open Graph puts people at the center of the web and that people and things can be “semantically” related. The second theme will be using the open graph to make social and personal experiences everywhere you go. We’ve learned that the less friction there is, the more effective things are.
[10:13] Mark is mentioning that there are 400 million people on Facebook (no new statistics there). In the last year mobile usage has grown by 5X. There will be a few policy changes today. The first is a one step permissions dialog. Overall this should make building on the platform much easier.
[10:16] Previously we limited the caching data policy. Now developers can cache user data and the 24 hour caching policy has been eliminated. This will be interesting to see what policy advocates say about this.
[10:17] We also want to provide an update about Facebook Credits. Right now we have almost 100 applications in the program and we’re still in closed beta for the program. (I guess they aren’t opening this up today) They are focused on scaling this to the entire ecosystem.
[10:18] At our first f8 I discussed the concept of “the social graph”. Facebook is only mapping out a part of this graph (mostly people and relationships). Developers are mapping other parts of this graph. Yelp is mapping the part of the graph related to small businesses, and Pandora is mapping the part related to music. By pulling this data together we can make a web which is more “semantically aware”.
[10:19] Mark is now demonstrating the concept of the Open Graph. What we’re about to show you in a minute is how all of this is going to become a lot easier. If I write a review on Yelp, that data is not connected to my other services. One hack that developers have done to move around this is to post the data to the stream. Right now the stream is ephemeral and data eventually floats away over time. Other developers won’t be able to understand the semantic relationship between you and places and things.
[10:22] If you write a review saying something is positive, we can post information about stuff that you’ve liked anywhere on the web. We’ll also be able to show you things that your friends like. (Beginning to sound more like a semantic search engine). When we connect all these things together, the web is going to get a whole lot better.
[10:23] Today we’re going to announce a few key technologies. The first is a new version of our platform called the “Graph API”. This will be implemented on an open standard that we’ll later talk about. The other thing is a series of “social plugins” that you’ll be able to drop into your site without having to write a simple line of code. Mark is now demonstrating an example on CNN, where he sees friends that have liked a story. The user doesn’t need to log in to CNN ever as Facebook serves up content. If I “Like” the content, anybody implementing the Open Graph will be able to access this data.