Make us your home page
Instagram

Facebook spreads presence on Web

“The Web is at a really important turning point now,” Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg says at a conference for Web and software developers in San Francisco.

Associated Press

“The Web is at a really important turning point now,” Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg says at a conference for Web and software developers in San Francisco.

NEW YORK — Facebook is spreading its wings to the broader Web with new tools that will allow users to see personalized versions of websites they visit elsewhere.

The move could change the way people experience the online world, though it could come with deeper privacy implications. By accessing Facebook's tools, websites will be able to customize the experience based on the list of friends, favorite bands and other things users have shared on their Facebook profiles.

"The Web is at a really important turning point now," Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg said at a conference for Web and software developers in San Francisco. "Most things aren't social, and they don't use your real identity. This is really starting to change."

It already has, with Facebook among its earliest pioneers. The world's largest online social network has long insisted, with varying success, that its users go by their real identities when they sign up for the service, offering a contrast to the culture of pseudonyms common elsewhere online.

And Facebook has sometimes transported those identities beyond its own service. Facebook Connect, announced last year, lets people use their Facebook log-ins to sign in to other websites, without needing a separate account.

The latest changes take this a step further. It means Facebook users will be able to see a Web tailored to them based on their interests and social connections, as long as they are already logged in to Facebook. So when visiting a news site for the first time, they could see which of their Facebook friends liked recent articles. A music site such as Pandora, meanwhile, could start playing music from the user's favorite bands.

Users will also be able to share items on their Facebook profiles without leaving the other websites, simply by clicking "like" buttons next to the news article or other items they are reading.

Zuckerberg told developers at the f8 conference that the experience will mean a more personalized, social, smarter Web.

If it works and users embrace it, Facebook could gain valuable insights that could help it sell more advertising, potentially rivaling online ad leader Google, which typically tailors ads based on keywords in search terms and Web content.

"If I were Google, I would be really scared because Facebook might to end up with a lot more intelligence than them," said Alain Chuard, founder of social marketing firm Wildfire. "Google is just an algorithm, but Facebook could rule the Web."

But Facebook's plans could backfire if it doesn't make it clear what it's trying to do. Facebook needs to make it easy for individual users to choose not to have their outside activities posted on Facebook's website, said Greg Sterling, an Internet analyst who also writes for SearchEngineLand.com.

"How many people are really going to want all this information about them shared?" Sterling asked. "That's the big unanswered question here."

Facebook spreads presence on Web 04/21/10 [Last modified: Wednesday, April 21, 2010 8:11pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Associated Press.
    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Jeff Bezos tops Bill Gates as world's richest person — for now

    Corporate

    A surge in Amazon.com Inc. shares Thursday morning in advance of the online retailer's earnings report has propelled founder Jeff Bezos past Bill Gates as the world's richest person, according to a Bloomberg report.

    Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, discusses his Blue Origin reusable rocket project in Colorado Springs in April. A bump in the price of Amazon shares in July of 2017 was enough to move  Bezos above Bill Gates, the Microsoft co-founder, who has topped Forbes' billionaires list 18 out of the last 23 years. 
(Nick Cote | The New York Times]
  2. Verizon is back: Unlimited data is boosting subscriptions

    Energy

    After posting surprising losses among cellphone subscribers earlier this year, Verizon is back. The wireless carrier said Thursday that it has added 358,000 phone subscribers over the past several months, blowing analyst expectations out of the water and showing that its unlimited data plans are helping to keep …

    Verizon said Thursday that it has added 358,000 phone subscribers over the past several months, blowing analyst expectations out of the water and showing that its unlimited data plans are helping to keep customers loyal.
(Associated Press]
  3. Florida's first walk-in clinics for medical marijuana are opening in Tampa Bay

    Business

    TAMPA — Inside a nondescript white-washed office building across from St. Joseph's Hospital in Tampa is one of the state's first walk-in clinics for patients seeking medical marijuana.

    Patient Julie DiPietrantonio, 67, of St. Petersburg, is examined by Dr. Howard Riker of Tetra Health Care. DiPietrantonio suffers from chronic pain caused by spinal stenosis, degenerative arthritis, and sacroiliitis. She is looking for relief by using medical marijuana. 
[SCOTT KEELER   |   Times]

  4. Allegiant Air reports $400 million in revenue for second quarter

    Airlines

    Allegiant Air's parent company, Allegiant Travel Co., reported just over $400 million in revenue for the year's second quarter, up 16 percent from last year.

    Allegiant Air CEO Maurice J. Gallagher Jr. | [Courtesy of Tony Jannus Aviation Society]
  5. As Dow hits new high, Raymond James Financial reports record financial gains

    Banking

    On the same day that the Dow closed at new highs, investment firm Raymond James Financial reported record revenues and earnings for its fiscal third quarter that ended June 30.

    Raymond James Financial CEO Paul Reilly unveiled record quarterly revenues and earnings for the St. Petersburg-based investment firm. [Courtesy of Raymond James Financial]