Facebook’s New Changes Will Affect Social Connections and Search on the Web

At Facebook’s f8 conference earlier this week, the company announced ambitious goals and new changes to the social media network. Three official new concepts introduced are the Social Plugins, which utilize a social graph and the “Like” button to connect users with similar interests. The Open Graph Protocol allows users to build their profiles through connections to what they care about. And the Graph API supports the new social graph concept – a simpler way for developers to use Facebook.

On the front end, many have noticed changes to their Facebook pages this week, with the site prompting users to update their likes and interests and to add them to pages. The next step is connecting users with a page that consolidates their “Likes”. Facebook can then use the information to connect people with similar interests. This capability is actually incredibly powerful. Facebook is creating new online communities around information that users supply, which is very valuable to brands and businesses.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced its integration with Pandora at the f8 press conference as well. Users can come to Pandora from Facebook and the music site will personalize their music interests according to their Facebook page. As songs are playing, the site will show each user’s friends that are enjoying the same type of music. This method makes Pandora social, says Tom Conrad, CTO of Pandora.

The new changes and integrations give Facebook access to updated user information and profiles, making the social media platform more valuable than ever to advertisers. Facebook said that more than 75 partners were participating already and Mark Zuckerberg predicted that there would be “One billion ‘Like’ buttons on the web within 24 hours after launch.” The new information will help Facebook to build new types of search experiences, integrating more personal social media marketing into its results.