New Open Graph policy will help Facebook understand affinity

Facebook today announced that developers who create custom Open Graph actions that express affinity — for example, love, favorite or star — will need to associate their verbs with the social network’s built-in Like action. The change will help Facebook’s system better understand the nature of the connections users are making and the stories they are telling through Open Graph.

Since Facebook began allowing developers to create custom verbs for their apps last year, one of the most popular action types are those that express affinity. There’s “love,” “favorite,” “smileyface,” “yum,” “nom” and more. Now the social network wants developers who create these type of verbs to indicate that they are variants of “like.” This provides some semantic meaning for the new connections being built through third-party apps. By organizing data this way, Facebook can come up with better ways to present affinity stories in News Feed and improve its ad targeting.

For example, if a person “reads” a book, it is not clear whether or not they enjoyed it. It might not be relevant to show the person an ad for another book from the same author. However, if a person “favorites” a book, that action is equivalent to a “like” and it would make sense to show the person ads for similar books. Currently, there are ways for advertisers to target users by specific actions, such as favoriting a particular book. As Open Graph expands and developers create more custom verbs, it makes sense for Facebook to begin grouping them so that advertisers don’t have to specifically target people who “favorited,” “liked,” “starred,” “loved,” and “enjoyed” a book. They can simply target people who “like” the book, and Facebook’s system will make sure it gets to the right audience.

The change announced today is not a breaking change, so developers can continue to use the custom actions they created. They do, however, have to resumbit their actions after indicating that the action is associated with “like.” Facebook encourages developers who do not have a strong need to create custom verbs to express affinity should use the built-in Like action, which generates user notifications, whereas custom actions will not.

Social Media 101

Mediabistro Course

Social Media 101

Get hands-on social media training for beginners! Starting November 10, hear from our expert speakers on the  best practices for getting set up on the major social media platforms, how to create meaningful content, and engage with your audience across sites. Register now!


Leave a Reply

One Response to “New Open Graph policy will help Facebook understand affinity”

  1. Open Graph Facebook : les affinités au service des annonceurs - GBDO | Blog E-Marketing & Médias Sociaux says:

    [...] : Inside Facebook & Le Blog Des [...]

Get the latest news in your inbox
interested in advertising with inside facebook?

Social Media Jobs
of the Day

Social Media Manager

The Culinary Institute of America
Poughkeepsie, NY

PR & Social Media Account Director

Manifest New York
New York, NY

Assistant Social Media Editor

Salon Media Group, Inc
New York, NY

Part-time Social Media Manager

Michelson on Medicine
New York, NY

Featured Company

Join leading companies like this one and recruit from the nation's top media job seekers on the Mediabistro Job Board. Every job post comes with our satisfaction guarantee. Learn More

Our Sponsors

Mediabistro A division of Prometheus Global Media home | site map | advertising/sponsorships | careers | contact us | help courses | browse jobs | freelancers | content | member benefits | reprints & permissions terms of use | privacy policy Copyright © 2014 Mediabistro Inc. call (212) 389-2000 or email us