So the big news this past week were the announcements coming out of the Facebook f8 conference. If you use Facebook for anything other than business purposes you have no doubt seen the "I hatethese changes" type of messages in your news feed. The "top stories", the "ticker" and the general confusion about subscriptions are all fueling user discontent. This is a distraction from the most significant change announced at f8. Facebook buried the lead during Mark Zuckerberg's keynote. Yes, music sharing is fun (announcement number 1) and your new Timeline (replacing the personal profile) is visually pleasing (announcement number 2) but the changes they have made in enhancing the open graph trump everything else.
The new open graph will allow application developers to share your activity on third-party sites (or within applications) without restriction and without continuous approval. Sign in via Facebook, agree to the level of sharing and you’re done. This is being called “frictionless sharing” by many because, once setup, you will share everything from a third-party site or application with Facebook without needing to take action every time (Was hitting the "Like" button REALLY that hard?). All activity from these open graph applications and websites will feed back into the Ticker (you know, the thing on the right that looks a lot like Twitter). The two big examples today are music and news. Sign in to a supported third-party music app and Facebook will share every song you listen to in the app. Sign in to a supported third-party news site and Facebook will share every article you read with your friends.
Privacy implications aside, thinking about this from a product development perspective is interesting. I'm sure we will see some very creative frictionless sharing examples from Facebook developers in the coming weeks and months.