Posts Tagged ‘Mark Zuckerberg’
Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerburg, surprised his almost 500 million man strong user-verse this week by unveiling new features for the social network at the F8 Developer Conference in San Francisco. Some initial response has been hyperbolic, claiming an end to the Internet as we know it; however, conventional wisdom indicates that major changes to one of the Internet’s most popular Websites will doubtlessly impact our online experience in a dramatic way. Zuckerburg’s vision is extraordinary and revolutionary; in his keynote, Zuckerburg proposed the Web as a social being, where you, your friends, your brands , and your favorite bands (among other things) are all a part of the experience. Ultimately, Facebook is attempting to socialize the Web in a much deeper way than any previous vision.
Open Graph to Blur Existing Distinctions between Websites
The main feature of Zuckerburg’s vision includes the “Open Graph.” The CEO highlighted current issues in connecting Facebook friends to one another through their Yelp or Pandora accounts, leaving many people unconnected precisely when they are sharing informed personal insight. As a result, Zuckerburg has proposed the Open Graph, blurring the lines of current distinct Websites.
The Open Graph is essentially Facebook’s method for reading tags from other Websites to decipher what information their users are “liking.” For example, IMDb starting immediately will include “Like” buttons for films, and Facebook will publish your recent favorite film. Likewise, favorite plays on Pandora will be published on your profile. Furthermore, this process will be fluid, allowing for information from a CNN article – liked on CNN.com and published on Facebook – to appear when you hover over the News Feed story. Facebook has paired with major partners – including Microsoft, CNN, and ESPN – ensuring that there will be enough Websites from which users can begin to test these features.
A lot to “Like” about the Changes to Fan Pages
For brands and businesses, it just got a lot easier to gain fans. Zuckerburg announced that a single line of code will integrate a “Like” option onto Websites, so that one click can ensure an interested customer has connected to the brand via Facebook. Just like the major partners, brands that include this code will make their website, a fan’s News Feed, and their fan page separated by less than three clicks.
There are skeptics who question whether the public desires to be so steeply invested in Facebook, or social networking for that matter, that are unsure of whether these changes to Facebook will indeed succeed. It is important to keep in mind that Facebook’s 500 million person strong network can certainly find a sizeable group of test subjects. The future of social networking and the Internet is uncertain; however, it seems there’s consensus to the claim that major changes are in the pipeline.
Rodney Bradford might be the only one pleased with Facebook these days. A perfectly timed status update from his father’s house in Harlem – “On the phone with this fat chick…Where my IHOP?” — saved the 19 year old from prison time as his update served as his alibi for an armed robbery 12 miles away in Brooklyn. After the DA subpoenaed Facebook records which confirmed the update was submitted from Harlem, the case was dismissed leaving Bradford a free man and demonstrating the pervasiveness of social networking sites.
Bradford’s vindication, while sensational, does not mark the first time social networking sites have been used in the courtroom or by the government. In fact, this week consumer watchdog group Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) filed suit against multiple government agencies – including, but not limited to the CIA, DoD, FBI, and DEA – alleging unlawful use of social networking sites to investigate an array of crimes ranging from underage drinking to the coordination of G-20 summit protestors.
This filing follows a request for information under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) that was not met by multiple agencies. The government scored a victory on the shoulders of Facebook in the case of Maxi Sopo, who was indicted for bank fraud after he failed to resist the temptation to brag about “living easy” in Cancun following the $200,000 heist. Sopo’s downfall began with his acceptance of a friend request from a former Justice Department official.
The increased usage of social networking sites coupled with heavy government involvement, has led some to question whether Facebook and Twitter will become the new arenas for wiretap initiatives. If so, the debate promises to be as heated as conventional wiretaps, with even the EFF acknowledging that information obtained from social networking sites is often for commendable reasons—where evidence of bank fraud is found, there too can an alibi be found. The EFF points to a need for users to comprehend the extent of privacy rules and procedures of any social networking site in the face of government requests.
With forthcoming changes to Facebook’s privacy rules and settings, as alluded to in founder Mark Zuckerberg’s open letter to the Facebook community released earlier this week, the question of government usage of social networking sites promises to remain present and contested.