This past April, Facebook launched its Open Graph API, which allows site owners to add a like button to any type of content on the web. According to Facebook, over one million websites have implemented versions of Facebook features like Open Graph. This has pushed social sharing beyond Facebook’s walls and has quietly put them in a position to compete directly with large web-search engines, like Google.
The Open Graph data that Facebook is now collecting from across the web means that searches on Facebook now pull data outside of the social network. Obviously, Facebook’s search algorithm is a secret, but we can assume that highly liked content is more apt to rise to the top of the search results. Right now, Facebook only accounts for 2.7% of global searches, but has been growing by as much as 48% per month. Even now, this is still greater than AOL and just slightly less than Ask.com.
So, what does this mean for marketers?
It’s early to tell, but there is enormous power in search results powered by likes over links. Since referrals are a huge driver in purchasing decisions, a semantic social search could be a game-changer for online marketing.
What you can do now
We believe it’s a good idea to start implementing the Open Graph API on your website. We also recommend developing a strategy for how and where you’ll use the like button and Open Graph features in your overall marketing plan. Even if Facebook’s strategy doesn’t completely materialize, enabling these social sharing features with an intelligent strategy is still a good idea.
And, if you need help implementing Open Graph or developing a social marketing strategy, we are here to help.
Read more about Facebook’s social searching: