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Facebook Connects the Web at F8 with Social Graph, Pandora and More

The first day of Facebook's f8 developer conference got underway yesterday in San Francisco. After welcoming their attendees with a set of ankle bracelets discretely packaged as RFID tags, Mark Zuckerberg & Co. got down to the business of explaining their plans to take over the entire Internet. The RFID devices enabled users to tag themselves in photos and share their location and activity on Facebook profiles. All check-ins were shown on a massive display in the conference center's main hall, allowing everyone, in theory, to see where everyone was going. The tags may have been a gimmicky non-sequitur, but the map, at least, set the stage for the conference's main event.

The centerpiece of the new Facebook Platform is something called the 'Open Graph.' Heralding it as "the most transformative thing we've ever done for the Web," a hoodie-clad Mark Zuckerberg explained the concept, which basically seeks to map out user behavior across various corners of the Internet. As Zuckerberg explained on the Facebook blog, the newest Facebook Platform "puts people at the center of the web," by using information gathered from a user's general online behavior to "create a smarter, personalized web that gets better with every action taken."

On Pandora, for example, Facebookers will now be able to "like" a band, and that action will be entered in to the graph. The next time you visit a ticket site, then, the site will be conditioned to tell you when your favorite bands are coming to your city. Facebook's also struck a deal with Microsoft to create, a new collaborative document-editing site that allows Facebook users to find, create and share Microsoft Office documents with their friends.

As for the "like" button, you'll soon be seeing it across a variety of sites, including IMDB and the New York Times, among others. What this means is that if you find a product or an article you particularly like, you can click the "like" button (or "recommend," in some cases), and that information will instantly be shared with all of your friends. Or, if you really love a certain movie, you can "like" it on IMDB, and that information will be added on to your profile's info section. The idea, in essence, is to move beyond the news feed (read: Twitter), which Zuckerberg calls "ephemeral" (read: slam). As he says, "You post something to the stream and people see it for a few hours and then it mostly floats away." He seems confident, though, that with Facebook's new, expanded network of connections "the Web is going to get a whole lot better" (presumably, by funneling the entire Web through Facebook).

We'll still have to wait to see how all these grand ambitions actually play out. But Alain Chuard, founder of the social marketing firm Wildire, thinks that the site's latest additions might be enough to make a certain other big dog start to sweat. "If I were Google I would be really scared because Facebook might end up with a lot more intelligence than them," Chuard told the Huffington Post. "Google is just an algorithm, but Facebook could rule the Web." [From: Facebook, AllFacebook, CNET, HuffPo, TechCrunch, Mashable]

Tags: F8, f8 conference, F8Conference, facebook, imdb, location, Microsoft, open graph api, OpenGraphApi, pandora, SocialNetworking, top, yelp