Facebook moving forward

There’s a lot written today about Facebook launching their new service Connect.

Connect allows you to login to partner websites using your Facebook account and for information to flow from that site into your feed and friend information to pass back to the partner site.  This is part of a wider plan by Facebook to become the standard for social interaction.

OpenID set out to be the standard for connecting people across the web, plenty of big name partners supported OpenID but yet… outside the industry, who knows it exists?

There’s another important part of the strategy for net domination, that hasn’t received as much discussion: Facebook are taking steps to reduce the amount of people using ordinary Facebook accounts as a promotional tool. They are really clamping down on fake profiles and have put in places limits for how many group messages you can send out rather than using updates or advertisements.

The real strength in Facebook is in having 99.999% of users as real people, that is what makes it stand out from most other networks.

If Facebook can keep the balance of community vs commercial messages right, people will stay. A lot of users left MySpace when the volume of messages that were “hey you’ve never heard of me but please check out my tracks” overtook the messages between friends.

Sure some people will be put out when their profiles are deleted (after being warned) BUT it won’t cause the bulk of people to move.

This brings me nicely back to my talk, the social web in 10 slides – where I talk about the importance of interacting and engaging with the community in the right way.

If you (as a business) want to promote yourself on a social network, you have to be really clear to understand how that network works and how best to mobilise that network for your benefit whilst playing by their rules.

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