Platform & Open Graph Deep Dive

This is a comprehensive overview of the tools and resources available to developers looking to build on the Facebook Platform. The Facebook Platform is a set of tools and API’s that allow developers to read, write and access Facebook technology. The Open Graph is the evolution of the Facebook Platform, which gives developers the ability to build beyond facebook.com and integrate Facebook into 3rd party websites and mobile. In 2011, Facebook further extended the Open Graph so developers can define new types of relationships with users and objects allowing for deeper integrations.

Facebook Platform Overview
You can bring the power of Facebook functionality outside of Facebook 3 different ways— on your website, for mobile, and through the creation of Facebook Applications:    Build for Websites: Drive growth and engagement on your site through Facebook Login and Social Plugins. Build for Mobile: Let users find and connect to their friends in mobile apps and games. Build Canvas Apps on FB: Integrate with our core experience by building apps that operate within Facebook. o Canvas apps on Facebook are web apps that are loaded in the context of Facebook in what we refer to as a Canvas Page. These apps are served by the client/developer, but the app is linked through the Facebook UI. Therefore, it can live both on Facebook and in other locations owned by the client/developer. o If you’re looking to build a lighter weight app to add to a Facebook Page, please refer to Page Tab Apps.

Platform Core Concepts Facebook Developers have defined 6 core tools and guidelines for developing on the platform:   Social Design-- The Social Design Guidelines help you understand why you should build great social experiences as well as how to use Facebook Platform effectively to create them. Social Plugins-- Social Plugins enable you to provide engaging social experiences to your users without coding anything or requiring the user to sign into your site. These include the like button, recommend, comment, subscribe, activity feed, like box, login, registration, facepile, and live stream. Social Channels-- Facebook Platform lets you integrate with social channels such as News Feed and Requests. Essentially, social channels are the locations where Facebook interactions are shared.

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Authentication-- Facebook authentication enables your app to get permission to access and use the user’s Facebook data Graph API-- The Graph API is the core of Facebook Platform, enabling you to read and write data to Facebook. Open Graph-- The Open Graph protocol enables you to integrate your websites into the social graph.

The Graph
Social Graph and the road to further integration: At Facebook's core is the social graph; people and the connections they have to everything they care about. The illustration below shows the connections users have through Facebook (objects), and how they’ve connected (actions).

The Open Graph: In 2010, we introduced an early version of what we call the Open Graph, an extension of the social graph, via the Open Graph protocol, to include 3rd party web sites and pages that people liked throughout the web. In September of 2011, we extended the Open Graph again to include other actions (such as, “read,” “watch,” “listen”) and objects created by 3rd party apps and enabling these apps to integrate deeply into the Facebook experience. Definition: The Open Graph protocol enables you to integrate addressable content (such as web pages, digital music, connected physical objects, and more) into the social graph. This content gains the functionality of other graph objects including profile links and stream updates for connected users.

In other words, the Open Graph allows you to connect your applications to the platform in a way that Facebook can understand by defining structured data for objects and actions. For example, you can define a recipe (object) that is comprised of various attributes (such as title, photos) and other objects (like ingredients). You can then define the actions that can be taken on recipes like read, prepare, and cook. *Because the Open Graph lets you integrate your app directly into all parts of the Facebook experience, we have a lightweight review and approval process in place. Please see OG Resources section below to learn more. Result: Since this data is clearly structured, Facebook can help you create interesting timeline aggregations like favorite recipes, top ingredients, etc. Key Concepts:  Actions and Objects: The building blocks of Open Graph o Actions are the high level social actions users can perform in your app (verbs, such as “like,” “read”, “watch”) o Objects represent the type of things that users can connect with in your app (nouns, such as a page, user, photo, video, event)  Open Graph Mechanics: How users are connected to actions and objects  Social Channels: The key channels that help you grow your user base and re-engage existing users, including Timeline, News Feed, and Ticker. Why Build on the Open Graph: Integrating the Open Graph offers a more engaging experience for Facebook users as it allows each user to further identify and express themselves through your services. Integration also enables wider distribution for your application and content as each action is displayed in the ticker and news feed of your user’s friends, giving your application an exponentially wider reach. OG Resources:

Open Graph Tutorial: https://developers.facebook.com/docs/opengraph/tutorial/ o In-depth guide for those ready build, test and publish an Open Graph application Checklist: https://developers.facebook.com/docs/opengraph/checklist/ o Checklist for developers before setting an app live *Application Submission Guidelines: actions
https://developers.facebook.com/docs/opengraph/opengraph-approval/ o Review and approval process before your app can publish custom Open Graph

Examples: Platform Showcase houses examples of mobile apps, games built on FB, timeline apps and case studies: https://developers.facebook.com/showcase/

Additional Platform Resources  Developer Blog: https://developers.facebook.com/blog/ o Subscribe to the Developer Blog to stay up to date on new launches, events and developer spotlights Bugs: https://developers.facebook.com/bugs/ o See the top trending bugs across the platform and fix status. You can also search for bugs and search by date created, number of subscribers, and priority level Technical Q&A: http://facebook.stackoverflow.com/ o Great place to ask technical questions about the Facebook platform. Stack Overflow is a programming Q&A site that is collaboratively built and maintained by programmers. You can also log in using Facebook connect.

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