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How Facebook Is Slowly Taking Over Your Website

Written by Simply Zesty on

I write about Facebook

and the new features that pop up on the site quite often but I wanted to take a bit of a higher level view and show how the world's biggest social network is slowly trying to take over your blog or website. See most people think of Facebook as a social network or a self contained website but it's so much more and as you can see down below it is starting to creep in to more and more parts of your site. The main reason most publishers add Facebook elements to their websites is increased traffic and a better user experience but is there a danger that the whole web could turn in to one big Facebook? The problem with most of these features is that we are all starting to become so reliant on them all that they would be hard to remove. Facebook's social features for your website or blog are like drugs that once installed you can't ween yourself off. Here is how Facebook is slowly taking over your website or blog...

Facebook Connect

They don't completely own the space (Twitter and Google do have some options) but it's becoming more and more common to log in to sites using your Facebook profile. Most people don't mind doing it and the real advantage is that rather than having to sign up to sites all over the web one click of a button allows you to sign in and pulls some of your information from Facebook in to the site saving you time and cutting down on the amount of spam you receive.

Instant Personalization

Only really used by the bigger sites who have development resources to implement this but it does bring a whole new level of personalization to the web. There have been some privacy concerns voiced in the past about this but in reality it is just using public information that you have shared on Facebook to tailor your experience when you visit that site. You can see more about it here and look through some partner sites already using it.

Facebook Like Button

Probably the biggest success story that Facebook has had in the last couple of years and is now widespread across the web. Subtle changes in recent times have made this an essential tool for all publishers as the likes are now feeding back as full stories in to the stream. We are seeing this start to appear in search results (on Bing) and like buttons will continue to thrive on the web. It's amazing how quickly it has been adopted and embraced not just by publishers but by the general public as well.

Activity Feed

You'll have seen this pop up on sites around the web recently enough and it basically allows publishers show how your own personal friends have interacted with the site in the past. Its a great way of making people feel at home instantly on your site as they see that their personal friends have already interacted with content there.

Facebook Comments

Only been live for a couple of months but already on close to 100,000 websites and blogs around the world. Facebook are trying to change the way we leave comments, cut down on the amount of spam and increase traffic by publishing comments you leave back to the stream. Interestingly you can now leave comments as your business page as well on 3rd party sites which opens up a whole new way of getting the word out there about your page. I'm against introducing Facebook comments myself to a site but I can see how people would find them useful and how they could increase traffic and interaction on your site.

Facebook Like Boxes

These have been pretty standard now for quite a while and you will have seen them in various shapes and sizes all over the web. The idea is that you can encourage people to like your site within one click by displaying these on your site which is why you will see them all over homepages of sites (like the one on the right hand side of our page) by publishers trying to convert their traffic in to likes.

Send Button

Only released last week this is a small but subtle change to the way in which you make recommendations to your friends. I wrote yesterday who this could become a huge sales tool for businesses as having people recommend your products or services to their social graph is massively powerful and something that people could start to rely on in their sites going forward.

Coming Next

All of the stuff above is already happening and being embedded in to sites all over the world as we speak. There is a trend here and there is no doubt that if anything Facebook will push further down this road. The rewards for them are huge as they are broadening themselves out from just being a website to being something that is woven intrinsically in to the fabric of the web.

Facebook Video

Still in it's infancy Facebook video will take off more over the coming year. It's already the 3rd biggest video sharing site in the world and they will look to catch up with Youtube and they have in fairness drastically improved the quality of their product in recent times. You can at present embed videos like the one below but you can only embed your own videos (there are some hacks that allow you to embed videos from any page) but I'd expect to start seeing lots more Facebook videos around the web soon. It's all about that social layer and the fact that people can like the video from within it could be enough to start encouraging some publishers to move over from Youtube in the future.

Facebook Credits

At the moment mostly being used for Facebook apps and games but there is no doubt these will be pushed further out in to the site over the next year as Facebook rolls towards it's IPO. Will we see a day coming soon where credits are not only used on the site but you can spend them around the web as well? Something like the Paypal button? I like we might and that is when things could get really interesting for Facebook commerce.

Facebook Chat?

Only basing this one on pure speculation but it wouldn't be very hard for Facebook to create a chat feature for you to embed in to your site so as you could talk to your customers directly in real time. The point is that whatever Facebook wants to do at this stage they can pretty much do given the scale and reach that they now have. Chat is just one example but there are plenty of others.

Content?

As you can see form the list of things above is that you could nearly entirely build your site using the Facebook platform. The only thing that is missing is the content itself but as I said above I don't think Facebook are done in this space by a long shot. They won't be happy until they control the entire web and give them another couple of years and they will have even more features on your site. The ultimate goal is for them to have you even creating the content on Facebook. I don't know how or when they could do that but every move they have made to date has been spot on so I wouldn't bet against it. If people are willing to roll so much of Facebook in to their current websites justhow much further do you think people are willing to go?

If you want to see a site that uses Facebook in nearly every way possible to make the site more social then head over to TripAdvisor and you'll be stunned at how social that site has become. That is pretty much the future as slowly but surely Facebook creeps it's tenticles all over the web.

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