Apps & Facebook

According to facebook, creating a FB Open graph application is a sure way for companies to boost their online presence. Open graph applications allow facebook users to share activities users are currently engaged in. For example, Spotify’s fb app allows friends to share songs they are currently listening to or have listened to in the recent past. So if I am stalking one of my 1500 closest friends and want to know what she has listened to or is currently listening to all I have to do is click a button on Spotify an all of her listening habits are available to me (of course she has to be using Spotify and she has to opt into sharing).

Despite all the privacy concerns looming around open graph, making music a social experience is a pretty cool idea. After all, music is social. We know this because live performances continue to thrive  even during a struggling time for the music industry.Music apps have taken this idea an offered users a way to share their music experience even when alone.

Companies create fb open graph apps with the intention of allowing users to be more social and to boost online interaction, or so they say. Companies also seek to gain more personalized interactions with their consumers with the information consumers freely provide to the open graph. In return for personalized services the user promotes the various apps on her time line and other feeds.

But is the idea effective? Are companies actually receiving growth in traffic and more importantly revenue from the open graph applications? Facebook is reporting that companies are. Problem is facebook reports these increases in percentages and we all know how we can easily manipulate those. For example, it cites that Rdio has seen a “30x increase in new user registrations from Facebook” In reality, the app itself now has grown by just 200 users to reach a tiny 4,000 daily Facebook-logged in users– According to Josh Constine from techcrunch.com

It seems to be a bit too early to tell. It also seems, at least to me, like free, highly personalized, advertising. Individuals use the apps, like them or dislike them, the app then publishes the activity to their friends on facebook in hopes the friends will check out the apps as well. The more the user engages an app the more information advertisers and the developers gain about him. Advertisers and app developers seem to gain the most from open graph. They get valuable information they can sell. While users get to know their friends in ways they should already know a friend.

Check out how say moviefone is doing with its facebook open graph app-

Moviefone

AOL Moviefone has been the premier destination for movie showtimes and tickets for the last 20 years, first as a telephone service and then online. The brand became part of the AOL family of companies in 1999 and now creates original editorial content alongside its informational offerings.

Objective

Allow users to connect with their Facebook friends on the Moviefone site, push unique content directly to interested audiences and drive additional traffic back to AOL Moviefone.

Implementation

Moviefone’s full-scale Facebook implementation leveraged Login with Facebook, Graph API, Events API, Like Button and the Activity Feed to enable social sharing and engagement with AOL Moviefone and its offerings.

Results

  • 300% increase in traffic from Facebook back to AOL Moviefone since the launch of the Facebook integration on September 17th 2010. Referrals have increased from an average of approximately 40,000 per month to 250,000 per month.
  • Approx. 40% click-through-rate for shared content. The average user returns and clicks back to AOL Moviefone about seven times.

Key Takeaways

Social Plugins such as the Like Button help make static content more relevant and engaging. They offer a powerful distribution platform that enables personalized experiences for people and their friends, and helps increase discovery on your website.


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