What the New Open Graph Means For Retailers & Brands

“It’s the Semantic Web, Stupid”

That’s what brands and retailers should make of Facebook’s new super-charged Open Graph that will seamlessly add user activity and intentions (‘using’, ‘searching’, ‘wanting’, ‘shopping’, ‘watching’, ‘playing’, ‘reading’ and listening’) to the Open Graph via app integration. (Oh how the poor ‘Like’ button looks so 2-dimensional this week).

Practically speaking, the Open Graph, if it beats out other contenders to offer the leading database of deep user data, will allow the Web to evolve into the semantic web (aka Web 3.0), where experiences are personalised and needs anticipated based on user data. For brands and retailers that means deep personalisation, with experiences that are not only extraordinarily relevant but also anticipate customer desires.

As Sapient’s director of digital strategy – Freddie Laker – predicted the Open Graph is Facebook’s play to power the semantic Web. Fret if you will about Facebook – or Google – knowing more about you than you do, but the semantic web will offer a new type of web experience truly personalised to desires.

There’s money in them semantic hills.

Written by
Paul Marsden

Chartered psychologist specialising in consumer behaviour, wellbeing and technology. Certified CX professional experienced in Design Thinking. A researcher, writer and speaker, Paul is head of Digital Insight at SYZYGY.

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  • After f8 I thought FB is completely going to change the way we use the web. After a while and a lot testing and exploring their new Developer Pages for the Open Graph Beta I guess the big question for Marketers is: why on earth will a user use a brand’s/company’s app and allow them to automatically post into her/his Timeline aka telling a part of the story of her/his life? Probably Spotify posts in the Ticker will become a plague and do I really want others to know (automatically) that I have read an article about a highly controversial topic in the “News-PaperXY” (or a story that in other “cultures” is not a tolerated topic at all, like it or not)? If I have to manually interrupt an apps behaviour I might as well don’t use it at all (if I dare to learn how to do that anyway).

    So we still keep focussing on Marketing first – asking: “Why will users use our app(s) to be part of their life and sharing the output on their Timeline/Ticker? What problem(s) do we solve better than any other competitior with our offer in the social network (and the real world?) – and then use FB’s new technologies to leverage our client’s (Marketing-) objectives.

    • Hi Gerhard, thanks for the reply. Completely agree with you that the key to this will be providing users with a compelling reason to use brand apps. I think only deep personalisation will do it. Also really love the ‘problem’ focus – still think the best definition of (commercial) marketing anyone has come up with is “solving peoples’ problems at a profit”. Unless we solve a real problem, with the social graph, consumers won’t share it with us.

  • interesting take on things here. I presume that people will unwillingly be allowing app from sites they know and then only after embarrassing them will they seek to stop them. This has two implications.

    The first – the brand will probably get more interaction in the short
    the second – The brand could be diminished through individuals sentiment towards them embarrassing them within fb.

    I remember a good example of this in MSN’s Messenger link up with Windows media player ‘currently watching’.

    unfortunately people were being caught out watching some *cough* late night movies…

Written by Paul Marsden