Facebook is testing new built-in Open Graph actions for lifestyle apps, including a “rated” action for books, movies and other content.
The new actions, which were pointed out to us by developer Tom Waddington, can be found in Facebook’s Open Graph action schemas for books and videos. There are new actions for “rate” and “quote,” along with “wants to read” and “wants to watch.” “Review” seems to be a new built-in object type, which can apply to reviews for books, movies, TV shows and episodes or other forms of content. There also seems to be a new way for users to share the percentage of a book they’ve completed. “Quote” is likely a way to share a particular passage.
Facebook tells us it has nothing to announce at this time, but it appears book app Goodreads is already testing some of these new Open Graph features. It has implemented the “rated” action and allowed users to share their star rating. According to Facebook’s Open Graph schemas, it seems developers could also enable users to share a number rating or a link to a review page instead of stars.
Open Graph is Facebook’s infrastructure for actions and objects in its network. It’s possible for developers to add their own custom nouns and verbs to the Open Graph, but Facebook also offers some that are “built in.” For example, built-in objects include articles, books and videos. Built-in actions, also known as “common actions,” include read and watch. What this means is all apps where users watch videos use the built-in watch action, and activity from those apps has semantic meaning and can be aggregated. Follow and Like are other built-in actions. More so than custom actions, built-in actions help Facebook understand the relationship between objects so that it can properly organize them in News Feed, Timeline aggregations and eventually search.
If Facebook rolls out the new actions and objects related to books and video content, for example, it could help users share more stories about the media they interact with and help users discover more entertainment through their friends. In the future, users might be able to see what’s on a friend’s “want to read” list or see friends’ ratings for a new movie.
In October last year, Facebook’s Chris Maliwat spoke about how the company would likely expand its pool of built-in actions.
“In the future, what you’ll see us doing more is translating natural language into the graph, into graph actions,” Maliwat said. “You’ll see more built-in actions that feel natural.”
With Facebook looking to encourage developers to build more lifestyle apps around books, movies and fitness, it makes sense that “rated” and other book-related features would be among the things the social network would be testing right now. We’ll likely see even more throughout the year.
Facebook has also made other recent moves toward being a platform for users to share ratings for places and apps, which get factored into the company’s search and recommendation algorithms. Providing better infrastructure for rating books and movies could give Facebook additional data for organizing and suggesting different types of content for users in Graph Search and News Feed.