The social world is still blinking anxiously as it attempts to digest the full import of Facebook‘s recent announcements at F8 (the annual, erm, FaceFest, during which the ‘Book traditionally tells mortals what to expect during the coming year.)
What it all boils down to is this: Facebook, within an unspecified period of time, will be transitioning from being an element of the web – albeit one with a fair amount of heft and a considerable social girth – to actually, like, being the web.
To bring you rapidly up to speed: Facebook’s Big Plan is to junk Connect and to make it waa-aay easier, through what they’re calling their Open Graph, for us to access ‘the Book from wherever we are on the Net.
Jeremiah Owyang, predictably, is the go-to chap for detail, but the bottom line is this: social connections were always going to be as important as hyperlinks have been in the past – but The Future – as seen by Facebook – involves every site on the web feeding back and forth to – yup – Facebook. Mark Zuckerberg says they’re “building a web where the default is social“, and that “the Web is going to get a whole lot better.”
Hmm. Various credible voices point out that this might have some implications for – damn, what’s that thing called? Yes! Privacy. Just how much information are we going to be giving out to third parties as the price of being involved in this Future they’re talking about ?
Pete Cashmore’s latest blog post is titled ‘Nobody Can Stop Facebook Because Nobody Understands Facebook‘. And Maddie Grant counsels, “we need to be paying attention before we wake up one day to find ourselves deep in the Matrix, hooked up to tubes with the machine world sucking out our brains.”
And if that doesn’t plump up your paranoia nicely, consider this odd factlet: Facebook’s new ‘like’ button was discovered last week to come in three colour-schemes – light, dark, and… evil. Yes ‘evil’, as in mwa-ha-ha. As in, ‘evil plan to take over the web’. Even more mysteriously, no sooner had TechCrunch noted the fact than pouf! the ‘evil’ option was gone.
Things have taken a rather Strangelove turn, haven’t they?