The Facebook Open Social Graph: How It Can Be Used for Websites


The purpose of Facebook (or any social networking site for that matter) is to connect people together. Ask your aunt, your cousin, your neighbor, your pharmacist why he or she has a Facebook account. Undoubtedly, the response will be, to keep in touch with people and learn what they are up to as well as what their likes and dislikes are. So what is the Facebook open social graph and what does it have to do with other websites?

Picture this: you’re on Facebook and you’re scrolling down the news feed. You see someone wished someone else a happy birthday. You see an announcement that someone is moving. You see that someone “likes” a certain website or a certain group of people. Well, before the open social graph came about, Facebook users had to push the “like” button for that website or group of people from within their Facebook account. The open social graph brings that “like” button to you – on many websites other than Facebook.

Here’s an example – the very popular website provides all sorts of data and information about movies. Let’s say you’re looking up the latest blockbuster to find out more about it. You glance to the right of the screen and you see that familiar “like” button from Facebook – although, you’re not on Facebook, you’re on You click it and you’ve just notified Facebook and all other people who “liked” it that you like it too. Now when you go back to (or any other website that has this feature), you will notice a specific list of your friends from Facebook who have also said they “liked” it as well.

This could work for any website that chooses to have this feature whether it’s an online vitamin store or a national news website. So basically what it’s doing is connecting everyone together outside of the one-dimensional social networking website, Facebook. Basically, any website that chooses to can plug some simple code into their meta data and provide the “like” button on their own website. In essence, the Facebook open social graph brings the interactive qualities of Facebook to any websites that choose to join in with the networking fun.

This is a guest post by Eric Rea. Image taken from

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