I’ve worked on several Social Media campaigns that have naturally gravitated towards Facebook as a popular social platform that affords familiar sharing functionality and presents the lowest barrier to entry i.e. everyones already on it.
There are a lot of annoying things about Facebook, but the thing that’s been getting to me most (yes more than the privacy issue) is that whatever anyone contributes to Facebook remains ‘in the cloud‘.
It’s probably my SEO background getting the better of me, but I want to own that information, that content. I want it to benefit me in the traditional sense of content i.e. one that generates links, citations and attention to my websites.
Keeping an eye on the SERPs as we do at ThinkSearch we are now starting to see Facebook pages creeping into the Google results for more competitive search terms. If the balance keeps on as it does it will be Facebook that outranks you, me and our competitors. Obviously the supports the end goal of Facebook’s advertising revenue based business model so they are laughing all the way to the bank.
But what about that content. Well it occurred to me that there is plenty of talk about the new open protocol that Facebook supports – FBML (Facebook Markup Language) – but what everyone is scrabbling to do is support Facebook’s head long plummet to domination by integrating their content the wrong bloody way!
Why put widgets all over your Facebook page that plant your blog content into Facebook? Why integrate widegts into your blog that allow users to jump straight of back into Facebook leaving your site? Surely this must happen the other way. What about all that lovely user generated content? What about all those lovely references to your site and connections to others? Where is the benefit to all the effort that you have put in over the last 20 years of the web gone?
For the time being it seems like the FBML support is basic and developers struggle to implement the code in any other way than within the Facebook canvas i.e. inserting the content using an iframe as opposed to being written into your page, so the benefits are yet to be tested, but to me this is a treasure trove to open.