Facebook today announced new ways for lifestyle apps to tap into Open Graph with verbs: run, walk, bike, rate, quote, want to read and want to watch.
These will be known as “built-in” or “common” actions, making them similar to how read, watch and listen can be incorporated into third-party applications. Although developers have been able to create their own custom actions with Open Graph, built-in actions help Facebook better understand the relationship between objects so that it can properly organize them in News Feed, Timeline aggregations and eventually search.
For example, if three of a user’s friends rate the same movie, Facebook can group those actions into a single News Feed story. Those stories can also include elements like star ratings or a fitness app could show stats from a user’s workout. Facebook says these features have improved the clickthrough rates for developers who have been testing them, such as Rotten Tomatoes and MapMyFitness. Other apps that have already added these actions include Nike, Runkeeper, GoodReads, Hulu and more. Another thing made possible by built-in actions is unified stories on a user’s Timeline. For example, Facebook currently offers Timeline aggregations that pull in stories from all the games they play or all the music they listen to through streaming apps, but fitness apps didn’t have anything similar and so activity from each app had to be viewed separately. Now it seems a user’s Timeline could compile all compile the runs, walks and bike rides that users complete, even if they use different apps to track them.
We first reported about new Open Graph actions for lifestyle applications last week after seeing mentions of these new verbs in Facebook’s code, but the company didn’t officially announce the changes until today. The new actions for each app type are listed below.
- Fitness: run, walk, bike
- Books: read, rate, quote, want to read
- Movies/TV: rate, want to watch
As we wrote about earlier this week, “want to watch” and “want to read” lists are featured in the new user About page that has been rolling out to some users internationally.
We’ve also seen mentions of “tracks,” “accomplishes” and “achieves” in Facebook’s Open Graph schema for fitness apps, but a spokesperson says the company has nothing more to announce at this time. It’s likely those actions are still being tested with a few developers.