Chapter 13. Facebook and the Web

In This Chapter

  • Understanding Facebook Platform and the social graph

  • Seeing how applications can enhance your Internet experience on and off Facebook

  • Discovering good, trustworthy applications

Facebook made headlines in May 2007 when it announced it was opening up its platform so that any developers anywhere in the world could develop applications on top of its social graph. About a year later, it announced that developers could now create applications outside of the Facebook frame. If this sounds like a lot of buzzwords, that's because it is. What this really meant was that applications — features like Photos and Events — that in the past had been built only by Facebook engineers could now be built by engineers who didn't work for Facebook. These applications built by people outside of Facebook could still integrate into the Facebook experience. Additionally, features that other Web sites wanted to add could now leverage Facebook info (with permission) to create a more seamless experience.

In this chapter, we give you the basic breakdown of what a platform is and how it works for you as a user. We then go into detail of the different types of applications and how they can benefit you. Finally, we talk about trust and Facebook Platform, and how to know if you're dealing with a good application. If you are a developer, check out the sidebar on good traits of applications, or look up Building Facebook Applications For Dummies, by Richard Wagner, published ...

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