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Facebook Open Graph Actions Generate Increased Click-Through Rates

While everyone was distracted by all of the drama over Facebook’s IPO in May, Facebook was making a significant change to their service that has affected the way users interact with brands. In September 2011, Facebook introduced Open Graph Apps that were designed to work with the Timeline format for the page that they were launching at the time. In May, with the social network converted to the new Timeline format, they quietly launched Open Graph1, adding about 60 new apps to the 3000 available with promises that there will be plenty of new actions for apps approved in the near future2. This new configuration looks like Facebook’s attempt to address some of the issues that the IPO raised about the value of the site’s advertising revenue by introducing an interactive marketing tool to their platform.

Open Graph apps allow users to share their activities on their Facebook Timeline in more meaningful ways. Previously, Facebook users were limited to ‘liking’ something and the notification in the newsfeed would say that they had ‘liked’ a product or a brand. With the Open Graph update, apps will now be able to vary the action to suit the object. Now users will be seen to have ‘read’ books or ‘cooked’ a recipe. These appropriate actions are built into the apps by the people that make them and they can be easily added to users’ Timeline so that they connect their activities on the other parts of the web to their Timeline. This means that people that use the Pinterest app in their Timeline will have a notification automatically posted that tells their friends that they have ‘pinned a pin on Pinterest’ and so on for all of the approved actions for apps.

As the apps are used more often they will gain Edge Rank in the newsfeed and become a more prominent part of users’ Timeline page. They will also turn up on the new ticker display that Facebook has added to the top right corner of their page. The high visibility of Open Graph apps gives them a greater potential for going viral amongst users on the site, making them a useful and potentially effective marketing tool. The Open Graph model of allowing users to create apps that better express their customers’ actions in relation to promotional material on the site goes a long way in solving Facebook’s difficulties with its advertising model.

The standard CPC ads that Facebook has been using have failed dismally on their platform, and the mobile version of their page doesn’t even show any ads. The Open Graph apps change all of this as it allows businesses to market apps that connect their customers with their products in a meaningful way, which is then displayed on their customer’s Timeline and newsfeed to be shared with their friends. These posts appear in the mobile newsfeed adding an advertising medium to this growing group of users. Open Graph action posts integrate into the user’s normal stream of posts automatically giving them a casual, social appearance while encouraging interaction with brands on the site.

Early studies done on the effects of the new action options have shown that, by choosing the right action for your app, it is possible to increase click-through rates by as much as 225% and that action targeting can increase purchases by 150%3. While this might not be the solution to all of Facebook’s advertising woes, it is a major improvement and it will certainly change the way that brands interact with their customers on the site. InfintechDesigns.com can help you create an app for your business that will put you right in your customers’ newsfeed.

References:
1. https://developers.facebook.com/docs/opengraph/
2. http://www.nanigans.com/2012/05/31/nanigans-releases-results-from-its-facebook-action-targeting-study-ad-engine-feature-launches-out-of-beta/


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