The social graph is the core of Facebook. The graph uniformly represents objects and the connections between them. A username can be used to access personal and other Facebook pages.
The Facebook graph is an incredibly effective marketing tool. It makes customized marketing a possibility because of the connections consumers make with one another. Jeff Mello, founder of Evolution of Communication , states that “78% of consumers trust peer recommendations and only 14% trust advertisements”. People usually have similar interests based on location, wealth, age and friends. The graph has the ability to look even deeper and narrow the similarities down even more. The Facebook “like” button is one of the many things that feed the social graph. If one person likes something then chances are a friend or relative might like the same thing. It is called a plug-in and Facebook uses several others as well. Facebook presents these likes to an individuals friends through updates.
The graph can access all public information that is allowed by individual users. The graph can allow a marketer to target potential customers based on their likes, interests, and location, as well as those of their friends and family. The graph provides information about food preferences, interests and hobbies, and also business matters.
The intelligence value of the graph is one of the many reasons it is so powerful. A business can look at the graph and predetermine how to sell a product and who to target. It takes some of the necessity out of focus groups.
Hulu.com uses the Facebook API to get a better connection with their audience by asking about preferences, likes, and dislikes. They also allow viewers to rate content on a scale of 1-5. Advertisers can pinpoint a target audience based on their viewing habits and responses to commercials viewed on Hulu.
Bret Taylor the co-creator of Googlemaps and co-founder of Friendfeed noted “the features in your phone are interesting specs, but their real goal is to connect people”. The FB API makes that possible in way that was previously unimagined. With sites like Googlemaps it is possible for a customer and retailer to provide each other with information by simply doing nothing more than their normal routine. The mobile platform provides more information than we may even know about ourselves.
The Facebook API is a benefit to any business that understands the value of information.