Facebook’s f8 conference points to social, business changes

CNNMoney reports the Facebook’s new features are positioning it to organize the Web. Can it best Google?

Let’s find out. f8 isn’t just a key on your keyboard. It is the naming convention for Facebook’s conference where those new features come to light:

f8 is a Facebook conference where developers and entrepreneurs collaborate on the future of personalized and social technologies.At f8, members of the Facebook team and the developer community will explore a variety of topics including new tools and techniques, business growth strategies and open technologies.

The presentations are available online today.

Why does this matter to the average web user, whether or not they have a Facebook account? In one way, it is business. Big business making big ripples in an Internet ocean. Facebook’s apps are built by developers, creating a career opportunity. This relationship between a site and open development isn’t new… but in this case, it is large mover moving larger.

Today Facebook announced they’ll be using oAuth, which will provide standards for developers, allowing app access without making individuals to share their passwords or extended rights to your social accounts. Facebook is also integrating with Microsoft’s docs.com and Pandora, representing relationships between big business offerings. They’re also creating what they call an Open Graph, which ties social activities on partner sites to people’s Facebook accounts. cnet’s Caroline McCarthy provides this example:

One partner site, the Amazon-owned Internet Movie Database, is using the Open Graph Protocol to mark up pages for each individual movie. Hitting the “like” button on an IMDB movie page will automatically add that movie to the “Favorite Movies” section of a Facebook user’s profile.

Think of what your friends will know about you in this future. Socially speaking, Facebook does build on real identity and people’s friends. Will tighter integration between big solutions (Microsoft’s docs.com) and personal use create a new version of peer-pressured business model?

A recommendations plugin may link people to products in an advertiser’s most delicious dreams, not just in pushing information but discovering it. Bret Taylor, Facebook’s Director of Products (and formerly of Google.com) was quoted as saying 400 million Facebook users share 25 billion things a month, and now thanks to a real-time search people will now be able to search across those shared things.

For discussion: Is this the Internet of your dreams? I’ll hang up and listen.