Facebook Makes Open Graph Objects More Viral

Does it look like Facebook is repeating itself when asking whether you like things appearing in status update feeds? The social network's open graph protocol has gotten the "like" treatment, as Inside Facebook first reported. If you've got open graph objects enabled in your feed, you'll see immediately to the right of the "like" link another one saying "like this link."

Open Graph IconDoes it look like Facebook is repeating itself when asking whether you like things appearing in status update feeds? The social network’s open graph protocol has gotten the “like” treatment, as Inside Facebook first reported. If you’ve got open graph objects enabled in your feed, you’ll see immediately to the right of the “like” link another one saying “like this link.”

Writing snobs might call this addition redundant, and those who aren’t well versed in the protocol might compare the feature to the Marx Brothers routine “Who’s On First.” So let’s clarify, with Facebook’s own explanation of open graph:

The open graph protocol enables any web page to become a rich object in a social graph. For instance, this is used on Facebook to enable any web page to have the same functionality as a Facebook Page.

So this second “like” makes it possible to like objects within a newsfeed, which was not possible previously. Before today, you could only visit an object, or like a story about an object, but not do both, and certainly not with just one click.

This new feature certainly makes it easier for people to find objects liked by friends, adding another layer of viral marketing capability to the news feed. And it already has the companion ability to “unlike” an object after you’ve already liked it. But many Facebook members are still clamoring for the ability to “unlike” something that they’ve never “liked” in the first place. In other words, an “unlike” link ought to appear next to every “like” opportunity, rather than only becoming an option to rescind a “like.”

Perhaps more extensive unliking is something that could be programmed with the open graph protocol. However, a more ubiquitous “unlike” option would likely require lots of additional system resources to process, and possibly have a poor return on investment if advertisers react adversely.

Like Opengraph Screenshot