All posts tagged ‘F8’

File Under: Events, Social, Web Standards

Facebook Adopts Open Standard for User Logins

Oauth logo

SAN FRANCISCO — As we predicted, Facebook is switching to an open standard to handle user authentication across its entire platform of connected websites and applications.

Facebook is ditching its proprietary Facebook Connect system, which lets people use their Facebook username and password to log in to other sites around the web. In its place, the company will implement OAuth 2.0, an open source (and soon to be IETF standard) protocol for user authentication.

Viewed along side the barrage of other major announcements unleashed by Facebook at its F8 developer conference here on Wednesday, the move may only seem like a minor data point. But it is one with the potential to make a broad and deeply significant impact on the social web.

Right now, users expect three choices for logging in to a site with an existing ID: Facebook Connect, Twitter or OpenID. That forces publishers to implement three separate systems — one for OpenID, one for Twitter, which uses OAuth, and one for Facebook, which uses Facebook Connect. But once OAuth 2.0 is up to speed and more sites move over to it, things get simpler for site owners.

Where there used to be three options — Facebook Connect, OAuth and OpenID — there will now only be two. And the two that are left are both open source.

There are still details involving token management, auto-registration and other bits of complex backend plumbing to be sorted out, that Wednesday’s events don’t change.

But the move towards OAuth is a step towards interoperability the social web sorely needs. Most importantly, it will be easier to build pathways connecting OAuth and OpenID, since both are fully transparent, open standards and the proprietary Facebook Connect system has been removed from the equation. The switch paves the way for further integrations between existing technologies.
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File Under: APIs, Events, Social

Adding Facebook ‘Like’ Buttons to Your Site Is Damn Easy

Like this? Yes, "Like" this.

I want to offer a quick look inside the technology behind Facebook’s Open Graph initiative to show how easy it is to mark up your website and let Facebook users interact with it.

This is only a part of the broad Open Graph strategy the company announced at its 2010 F8 developer conference. (Read our full coverage of the keynote).

Basically, Facebook is offering up a set of widgets — it calls them Social Plug-ins — that you can drop into any web page to make that page more “Facebooky.” There’s a Like button, a Recommendations widget that shows what other pages people’s friends are reading, an Activity Stream widget that shows a simplified version of the visitor’s personal Facebook news feed, and a Facebook Bar, a toolbar site owners can float at the bottom of the screen that serves all of these things at once.

Using the Open Graph widgets, you can incorporate some of Facebook’s key social interaction features into any page on the web.

The most important Social Plug-in, and the one we’ll no doubt see the most use of, is the Like button. Put it on your page, and if a Facebook user visits your site and clicks on it, a link to your page gets added to their activity stream. Suddenly, all of their friends can see that link, click on it and be led directly to your page. When that second person arrives, the Like button is personalized for them — it shows which of their friends have already clicked it, and when they click on it, a link to your page gets added to their stream.

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File Under: Events, Social

Facebook Shows Off New Tools to Socialize the Entire Web

SAN FRANCISCO, California — Facebook is launching a new suite of tools that bring the Facebook social experience to any site on the web.

The company is releasing a set of products called Social Plugins, which any web publishers can drop into their website using one very simple line of code. These plug-ins will let visitors “Like” news stories, photos and so on. Once a user likes something, it instantly gets added to the appropriate section of their Facebook profile.

The plug-ins are part of a new Facebook initiative to make every website on the internet sharable across its network, something the company is calling the Open Graph.

The announcements were made by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and platform engineer Brett Taylor at the company’s F8 developer’s conference taking place here Wednesday.

Facebook will roll out the Like buttons Wednesday morning, and Zuckerberg boldly estimates that within 24 hours, there will be one billion Like buttons across the web.

Facebook has often been branded as the next AOL, a website that basically recreates several experiences available on the open web — chat, e-mail and link sharing — behind a closed gate. But with Wednesday’s Open Graph announcements, the company is giving website owners a bigger door into Facebook’s closed system using simple HTML tools and by incorporating open standards into its authentication system.

Zuckerberg, speaking with his trademark brand of stiff, awkward enthusiasm, calls the new Open Graph initiative “the most transformative thing we’ve ever done for the web.”

A grand platitude, certainly, but one of the most transformative shifts in Facebook’s policies, as it enables sites to more easily link up their content on the open web with the Facebook ecosystem and access its 400 million active users.

“With these tools, any web page can become a Facebook page,” Taylor says. “If you don’t like the way Facebook pages look, just make your own. Add the Like buttons and the Open Graph elements and you’ve got a page that’s fully integrated into Facebook.”
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File Under: Events, Location

Facebook Tags Everyone at F8 with RFID Chips

photo

Meet your friendly Facebook RFID tag.

Here at Facebook’s F8 developer’s conference, each attendee has a small plastic token attached to their badge. Inside the token is an RFID chip. On the back, there’s a ten-character unique ID code. We’ve all been instructed to go to facebook.com/presence and enter our personal code to activate it.

Once your token number is linked to your Facebook account, you can walk around to each of several readers set up around the venue here. There’s an RFID chip inside this little blue piece of plastic, and at each reader, that chip gets scanned and some sort of post goes up on your Facebook profile’s Wall.

There’s a photo booth — scan your chip and it snaps a photo of you and uploads it to your account. There are gaming lounges, and you can become a fan of whatever company or game is sponsoring that lounge by tapping your chip against the reader.

It’s possible there’s some tie-in to a larger presence-sharing announcement coming later on at the conference. Or, it could just be something born from a keg-fueled discussion by some engineers, as the Presence site on Facebook says.

Either way, as soon as it was explained to me what this little blue dongle was doing hanging off of my badge, my first thought was, “It begins…”

File Under: Events, Social, Web Standards

Up Next For Facebook: Expect More Open Interactions

Facebook F8

Facebook essentially copies a bunch of services that are already available on the open internet — chat, e-mail, media sharing, profiles — for its 400 million active users. But it also provides tools to help those users interact with each other while they’re outside Facebook’s walls, and there are signs the company is ready to make those tools more open and more easily integrated into other websites and applications.

The social network has already seen great success with Facebook Connect, its authentication system other websites can use to let their visitors log in using their Facebook username and password, then leave comments or share items with their Facebook friends with a single click. They can also hop around between websites and apps without creating a new account at each stop.

Facebook Connect has certainly fueled the explosive growth of social interaction across hardware and software platforms, as it helps Facebook friends notify each other of their activities on other social websites, the movies they’re renting, or the high score they just got on their favorite iPhone game.

Facebook Connect was first announced in 2008 at F8, Facebook’s developer conference. The next F8 is taking place Wednesday in San Francisco, and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is expected to announce the next phase of his company’s plans to further extend its sharing platform during his keynote address.

The Facebook Connect system isn’t entirely open — a key reason for its existence is to feed social sharing traffic back into Facebook. But it has much in common with other emerging open standards like OpenID and OAuth. Most social websites use a mix of both Facebook and non-Facebook options to handle user authentication, and Facebook Connect is not fully interoperable with competing technologies.

But several recent events point to Facebook making its own platform work better with open technologies. Last year, the company joined the OpenID Foundation and it began partially supporting the technology by allowing users to log in to Facebook using OpenID credentials. Also last year, the company hired David Recordon, one of the key architects of OpenID and OAuth, and purchased FriendFeed, a website that aggregates people’s social activities. Soon after acquiring FriendFeed, Facebook released its Tornado sharing framework under an open-source license.

Facebook wouldn’t comment on any upcoming announcements when contacted for this story. However, outside developers remain hopeful that the company will continue to grow its sharing platform by making it work in tandem with other open technologies already in place.

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