Social Network or Die

24 Apr

This week saw Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg outline his grand vision to make the internet revolve around social networks. Speaking at the third annual f8 developer conference in San Francisco, Zuckerberg outlined a series of changes to Facebook in what was pitched as an “inevitable evolution” in the way we surf the web. According to Australian news service News.com.au:

New tools that let people signal interests with a single click and share them automatically with friends at participating websites will ensure online identities will follow Faceook’s 400 million users wherever they roam…Facebook pre-empted the announcement by launching the universal “Like” button last week. Once just the domain of Facebook users wishing to share their interests, it can now be used at participating websites – and the number of those joining the program is growing rapidly. It’s been described as a way to “turn a regular web page into a Facebook page” and currently, some 30 websites – including Microsoft – have the software in place.

However, as with every move made by Facebook, there are critics:

Concerns have already been raised that the mass move towards connecting every online experience will marginalise anyone who doesn’t want to be part of a social network site and that it’s all part of Facebook’s plan to dominate the web. Particularly after Mr Zuckerberg displayed the “Open Graph” – a global map showing how one Facebook member’s connections can drive their entire internet experience.

“Today, the web exists as a series of unstructured links between pages,” Mr Zuckerberg said. “The open graph puts people at the centre of the web.”

Critics of the system are also concerned that it will give Facebook a vast amount of information about a user’s inetersts, which could be capitalised on for marketing opportunities.

Read more here.

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