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InsideFMM | October 1, 2014

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Seven Startups Leveraging Facebook’s Open Graph

Seven Startups Leveraging Facebook’s Open Graph

Last month, Facebook launched its Open Graph app, which allows users to publish activity back to Facebook timelines, even from websites outside Facebook.

For the January 18th launch, TechCrunch reported that Facebook chose partners for the open graph launch, including Pinterest, Ticketmaster, Gogobot and Rotten Tomatoes; and also opened up the application to other third-party developers.

Top websites have answered that clarion call, and the Facebook Open Graph now has the potential to become an essential tool for brands and platforms to integrate their content into Facebook timelines, tickers and newsfeeds, becoming an integral part of the visual history of users’ lives. The new Open Graph is just one part of the sweeping changes that CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced in September of last year, which have been rolling out slowly since his keynote at F8. These changes have a significant impact on social media marketing strategies across the board, so the editors at FMM decided to catch up with some of our favorite websites to find out how they are leveraging the new Open Graph.

1. Lyst

As a high-end social shopping platform, the Open Graph is simply perfect for Lyst. Chris Morton, CEO and founder of Lyst, told the editors of FMM that the company’s new app lets users add their latest fashion finds directly to their timeline as well as browse their entire Lyst anthology, comment on it and share it with others. “It is a great way to start a conversation around style or share a wish list with your friends,” says Morton.

With the Lyst app, Facebook users have the ideal tool for starting conversations about fashion—pieces they own, want or want to know what their friends think. In addition to sharing on a user’s timeline, the app also allows friends to comment on the users actions, which appear every time the user adds a pick on Lyst. In addition, the Lyst app publishes users actions in Facebook ticker.

“We wanted to give people an easy way to connect around Lyst and discover new fashion with their friends,” says Morton. “Our widget is a great way for users to show off their fashion taste and be able to share and engage with their friends on Facebook.”

Morton says that Lyst will continue to improve the Lyst app to make sure that is does the best job of showcasing users style and fostering engagement between users. This commitment to adjusting the technology when necessary is critical, as the Facebook Open Graph is very new, and all companies will have to make adjustments based on user behaviors.

2. Polyvore

Polyvore’s creative take on social discovery is ideal for the Facebook timeline. On Polyvore, fashionistas create sets of styles they love and love to see together. This collage is then shared with the community, and like-minded individuals express their appreciation for the work of digital art.

Jonathan Trevor, an engineering tech at Polyvore who was lead on the company’s Open Graph for Facebook, explains that sharing these creations is the focus of the company’s app.

“Polyvore users enjoy expressing their style by creating sets and discovering new trends and brands by following others,” says Trevor. “The Open Graph lets them easily share their creations and discoveries with their Facebook friends. We already let our users share some things with Facebook and the Open Graph enables us to extend what gets shared to more frequent actions, such as saving interesting products and items, or liking other sets.”

Morton explains that the app was created to help users share more of the things they are doing on Polyvore with their Facebook friends, and to make that sharing even easier.

“Many of our users already enjoy a single identity across both Polyvore and Facebook and are able to share both the styles they find, and well as create, on Polyvore,” says Morton. “This technology allows them (and us) to create a simpler experience for them, where more of the things they are doing on Polyvore can be integrated into their timeline and shared with their non-Polyvore friends, without adding any additional burden on them.”

Like the experts at Lyst, the team at Polyvore is taking a “wait and see” approach with the app—they want to see how users integrate the technology and get their feedback before adding actions and activities. Morton says that upcoming features will include more actions and activity on Polyvore into the timeline, such as following other users and commenting.

3. Pose

As a platform, Pose is an ideal tool for fashionistas to express their person style through Instagram-style photos of what they are wearing in real time. For those who want their looks shared with all of their friends, the Pose Facebook app is the ideal tool to connect these platforms and increase their social reach.

Alisa Gould-Simon, director of marketing and communications of Pose, told the editors of FMM that the app allows enables people from all over the world to visually communicate their personal style through what they’re wearing and the looks that they discover and love on the Pose platform, and bring it all to their timeline.

“Pose’s Timeline app enables people to discover and engage with new styles by allowing them to explore the details of looks from around the world,” says Gould-Simon. “With Pose’s outfit tagging system, photos are tagged with multiple category and brand details, allowing people to interact with dynamic content and increasing opportunities for brand discovery.”

Gould-Simon explains that sharing fashion and style is an inherently social activity. Pose was created so that people can connect with friends through what they’re wearing, as well as what’s inspiring them on a daily basis. “Our integration with Facebook timeline today takes this to the next level,” says Gould-Simon.

Pose will work closely with Facebook to ensure that the app brings valuable and engaging opportunities to the Pose community, according to Gould-Simon. “As we continue to evolve both Pose’s mobile and Facebook timeline apps, we will be working with brands to help them connect with consumers on a one-to-one level,” she says.

4. Snooth

The Snooth wine tasting app was one of the first lifestyle apps invited to join the open graph by Facebook.

Rich Tomko, CEO of Snooth, talked to the editors of FMM about the way that Snooth has integrated the Facebook app into its website and social sharing. The Snooth app centers around the “Taste” button, which uses the Facebook Open Graph to make it much easier for a user to share the wines they tasted, reviewed or rated with existing social networks.

“The great part about using Facebook’s Open Graph is that, as a publisher, any time a user utilizes our Taste button, our brand is automatically displayed on that user’s Facebook page,” says Tomko. “The Taste button, because it’s also tied into Facebook timeline, also allows users the ability to pinpoint the exact time and place they had a particular wine, all with a click of a button.”

Tomko believes the app is essential for Snooth because of the way that people talk about wine. “Consumers often discover new wines via word of mouth, through a friend or colleague,” says Tomko. “The Taste button simply takes what naturally occurs in the offline world and brings it online with the added benefit of having that wine recommendation now seen by the user’s entire network.”

Snooth plans to expand their involvement with the Open Graph by integrating a Taste button from the group’s food website, What’sCook.in, as well as spirits from TheSpir.it.

5. Pinterest

Pinterest, the virtual pinboard that allows users to share anything interesting they find online, created an extremely successful app for Facebook’s open graph. They focused on two simple and extremely social actions, and by integrating those actions into Facebook timelines and ticker, generated an enormous amount of interest in their platform.

Pinterest focused on two actions for its application: “Pin” and “Follow.” According to the Facebook developer’s blog, this allowed Pinterest to create stories that Facebook users could easily identify with, and also told the story of Pinterest in a concise, easy-to-understand format that made Facebook users interested in the platform.

And–pay attention to this part marketers, retailers and brands–97 percent of Pinterest Facebook fans are women, according to TechCrunch. If you want to reach ladies, this is where you will find them.

6. Fab

Fab.com, the design inspiration website, used the Facebook Open Graph to launch its “Social Shopping” app. The new Fab Facebook app is entirely opt-in, according to Betashop, and offers social shoppers a $10 per month credit toward purchases as an incentive to join. This $10 credit is made up of two $5 credits tied to social actions: $5 for adding Fab purchases to Facebook timeline; and $5 for making one’s username viewable by other Fab.com users when a purchase is made.

Jason Goldberg, CEO of Fab.com, described his website to ReadWriteWeb as a “cross between Facebook and Yelp” when it originally launched as a social networking site for gay men in 2010. Since then, the site has evolved into a design-focused flash sale site, adding 400,000 and $40 million in funding. The site is now poised to be a trailblazer in social commerce for the aesthetically advanced.

7. SneakPeeq

Sneakpeeq, a social shopping site that launched last year, attempts to replicate the experience of in-store shopping by showing users and item without a price and requiring them to “peeq” at the price tag. During the site’s launch, the price of an item would change each time the user peeqed, and offered a discount only until someone else purchased the item, according to TechCrunch. Since then, the site has evolved into an action-based shopping network, which awards users with badges and discounts for social sharing via the platform’s Facebook app and purchasing items on the site.

The SneakPeeq Facebook app publishes each time a user peeqs at an item’s price to his or her timeline and ticker. Sneakpeeq hopes to grow the social shopping aspects of its platform, integrating options to “gift” items to friends and share badges.

Keep your eye on SneakPeeq: the company just raised $2.67 million from Bain Capital Ventures and others, according to TechCrunch.

The results from these apps? Dramatic increases in traffic

Since Pinterest launched its Facebook timeline app, the Pinterest website has seen a 60 percent increase in traffic from Facebook users, according to ReadWriteWeb. In fact, Pinterest was ranked No. 13 on the list of fastest growing apps on the Facebook developer’s blog. According to ComScore, Pinterest hit 10 million monthly unique U.S. visitors last month.

This rapid growth is due to Facebook’s implementation of “Actions,” according to Venture Beat. Actions are the function that integrates a user’s app activity into his or her Facebook timeline and ticker. A user sees that her friend is using Pinterest. What’s Pinterest? she asks herself. And that’s how you get a 60 percent increase in web traffic in one week.

Online retailer Fab saw a 50 percent increase in traffic due to news and live feeds on timeline from its Facebook app, according to ClickZ.

Pose quintupled daily sign-ups for its website and mobile app, according to ClickZ.

Taking lifestyle to a new level

The Facebook Open Graph is the key to every brand’s strategy to elevate their product offerings from popular to part of users’ everyday lives. By integrating into the Facebook experience, brands will get in front of people’s eyes with a frequency that will keep products top-of-mind, making it more likely that they are first to purchase.

Which Facebook application is the best? You be the judge. Add the apps, test the functions and figure out which one you like best. If want to join the ranks of third party developers, understanding the tools available is the best way to get started. Go forth, and bring the fashion to the masses.

What do you think of the Facebook Open Graph apps? Which one is your favorite?

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