Four months after launching their much anticipated mobile platform, Facebook is now actively courting 425 million monthly mobile users. That’s not all, the mobile platform sends more than 60 million visitors every month to apps and games. Facebook’s mobile visitors accounted for more than 320 million visits to mobile apps last month. James Pearce credits Open Graph to the mobile platform’s early success and accelerated developer adoption rate.
The Open Graph protocol enables Facebook and any website willing to utilize the protocol to passively collect and connect users seamlessly. By extending the Open Graph protocol further, developers like Spotify, can focus on creating a friction-less and uniform experience tying user activity all back to Facebook.
We like to think of Open Graph as the Walled Garden 2.0, brilliant of course, though borderline anti-Internet. Through open sessions, when a site or mobile app has received a opt-in from it’s user to use the Facebook login, all activity on the app or site is recorded and passed through passively through this open session. The reason we see this as a walled garden is that if a site or app doesn’t comply to Open Graph by employing its meta framework then you risk creating a disconnected experience for your potential user, customer, etc.
While there are plenty of pros, it’s worth noting that there are a bevy of privacy concerns with regards to Open Graph too. Earlier this year Mashable pointed out a few key issues, “It’s not always clear how Facebook apps interact with the data you share on the social network. Are they allowed to broadcast it? Sell it? Compile it in a way that you never intended?” This is an important point to consider given Facebook’s IPO and valuation. There is enormous pressure for Zuckerberg and crew to figure out ways to make money from the passively collected data.
And what about Identity Theft? When apps and sites and Facebook are handshaking who’s to say someone isn’t intercepting the data to and from Facebook during open sessions? According to statistics, 12 million Americans were victims of identity theft. Of those a decent percentage came from mobile devices.
Security News Daily pointed out the ramifications of Open Graph and it being a boon for identity thieves. Identity Theft doesn’t get much play especially when it’s related to a Silicon Valley darling who has just IPO’d but it’s worth keeping an eye on.