Today, SourceCoast attended the Facebook Developer Roadshow here in Austin, TX. The topics ranged from the new Open Graph system to the new timeline features rolling out to an updated invitation system as well as an improved user authentication dialog box. Overall, it was a great time for us to hear about some of the upcoming features of Facebook... Features that we're excited to be working on for our next release of our popular Joomla Facebook integration extension, JFBConnect!
Overall, the roadshow was focused around the new Open Graph system that Facebook is rolling out. Amazingly, it was in 2010 that Facebook introduced the world to the Like button and Open Graph tags as we know it. Those features, well supported in Joomla using JFBConnect, are a way for a user to "Like" an object (usually a page from your site):
"John likes SourceCoast Joomla Extensions"
The Open Graph tags are what let you describe that object easily, so that when the Like is added to the user's timeline, it has the proper context with the page's title, description and image.
So that's great and all, and of course true, because John does "Like" SourceCoast Joomla Extension, everyone does! However, what if John absolutely Loves SourceCoast because our extensions made his Joomla site rock? After more than a year, and billions of Like clicks, Facebook realized that people needed to be able to 'do' more and that "Like" was a little generic. That 'more' is coming in a flexible system from Facebook to use any verb you want on your site. For instance, in your Facebook application, you'll be able to define verbs like "Loves", "Read", "Attended", "Made", and whatever else would work on your site. Combined with some additional Open Graph love, you'll be able to define your pages with a lot more flexibility: one page can be a "Recipe" another an "Event" and another still a "Joomla Extension", if you'd like.
Putting them together, when users interact on your site, you'll be able perform any combination of verbs and objects:
"John loves JFBConnect"
"Alex attended a Super Event"
"Melissa made Sourdough Cookies!"
Each one of these events will push a notification to the users timeline, with links back to your Joomla site. Others can use those links from Facebook to learn more about why (and how) John, Alex, and Melissa were all interacting with your site! Great for visibility, promotion, and engaging with your users as well as growing your site in organic (and free!) ways.
It's exciting stuff, and we're excited to be working on making it just as easy to integrate into your Joomla site as the rest of our social features like single-sign on, Facebook Likes, comments, Page Tab Integration and more. There's a reason that JFBConnect is used on the Joomla Extension Directory itself, and that's simply because we continue to add the best features in the most user-friendly way to make social integration a breeze on your Joomla site!