Today Facebook released a new version of their open graph protocol. It is the basis of what you need to enable the Internet of Things: you can connect with (not necessarily like or friend) anything you like: books, movies, news, music, spoons, you name it and you can connect to it. This matters, this matter big time since every connection enables a new way of sharing interactions with the object. Facebook made the sharing of interactions with objects easy: it is a single opt in for an object and you enable constant sharing for certain events.
If you are listening to music through Spotify you can add Spotify to your timeline making it share each track you listen to to be shared with your network. If you read an ebook in an ebook reader you should be able to enable your ebook reader in the near future to share what book you are reading, how much time it will take, what your progress is and what chapters you already finished. What Facebook also did is, that if you have a relation and action of object that is shared with one of your friends, you will get notified, making an even stronger tie between you, your friend, the object and the action.
Why does this matter? This matter because relationships matter, relationships with your friends, but also with the things you do. It is about sharing the things that are meaningful for you with the people that are meaningful for you. However if you a retailer and your products are not enabled for sharing via Facebook open graph protocol, it is very likely that you will lose. Especially since sharing on Facebook enables serendipity and helps us in our poor ability of making choice (“what should I eat?” *read shared recipe from Bob on Facebook* “ah I have what Bob haves”).
Though there remains one challenge: what actions are meaningful and worth sharing in somebody’s Facebook time. There is a basic answer on that: the things worth remembering and the things that are therefore worth sharing. It is worth sharing to let other people know what music you are listening to, what movies you are watching, what your favorite recipes are, how often you go for a run or what your favorite drink is.
If you are selling a product or service, you better make sure to integrate it in the open graph protocol to make the relationship of your customers with this product and service shareable and to make the actions shareable. If you won’t? Others will and they will have the ability to be discovered by the friends of your customers, leaving you behind. Though it doesn’t mean that you have to make sure that your product is spammed everywhere, the shared interaction should be meaningful and worth sharing, that is the biggest challenge: not thinking about selling your product, but thinking about what people do with your product and why this could be meaningful for their friends.
A big challenge to overcome, though it might be literally a billion dollar (or euro) opportunity for your organisation and the product and services you provide, it will enables a potential of 750 million people that will be sharing meaningful interactions with you and your product with their friends instantly.
Your product hardly can become more meaningful than becoming one of the essentials parts of the relationship between friends.