Facebook ropes in public en masse to do its dirty work

Mark Zuckerberg and co yesterday announced a new feature for the all-powerful Facebook which will further cement its place as a major internet player. It’s called the ‘open graph,’ and basically what it means is that Facebook is going to know all about your web habits. Yes, even ‘those ones’.

Anyone who’s anyone who’s no-one has used Facebook and will be familiar with its ‘like’ function. You click on the like button and you immediately tell the world that you, well, like something. Facebook has huge plans to expand this, by casting its ‘like’ button across, literally, the entire web. When you like a page you’ll tell the world through Facebook.

At the F8 developer conference yesterday, Zuckerberg said that his vision will make the internet revolve around social networking, and not the other way around. Imagine a StumbleUpon, but tied into Facebook and your entire social network. What is really interesting about this is the amount of information Zuckerberg and co will be able to tell about your browsing habits and history, with simple clicks on a seemingly innocent function.

30 websites have the software in place at the moment. LOVEFiLM is one of them. We’ve been in touch with LOVEFiLM today, who tell us that since it launched its tie-in with Facebook last night, people had, within minutes, started using it in their masses.

To those not in the know, LOVEFiLM is a film rental service where you pay a flat fee a month and can take out films based on that and a postal system rather than paying for each individual film. Here’s what the Facebook integration looks like. What are the benefits to the end user?

A spokesperson from LOVEFiLM told us that “rather than just seeing what your friends like, which is what you’d get from posting straight onto Facebook, you get a full overview of what’s popular and what’s not within the LOVEFiLM community.”

While we are all for social networking, we can’t help but feel a tad suspicious as to the motives of such integration. Instead of spending a bomb on marketing and research, pulling the web into its net, Facebook users are going to innocently – and willingly – provide Facebook with valuable information by the masses.