Putting things into right perspective, Open Graph is the stallion that refuses to be beaten down. And the social media powerhouse Facebook keeps on adding more updates that is designed to help developers engage users more deeply with their app content.
The Action links are an additional Open Graph action that can be added to a Timeline app beside the usual Like and Comment actions. Also, customizable links give users a third way to engage with Open Graph content that appears in news feeds, timelines, or tickers.
Facebook illustrated how the new links could be used by using the geo-location app Foursquare as an example. The company applied two example: “Save this Place,” which connects to Foursquare, and “Fave This Product,” which allows a user to select a product as a favorite on Fab.com.
Interestingly, when users check in at a location using the app on their Timeline, their friends can already like or comment on the post. But now with action links, the first example above comes from Foursquare, the social networking site that is all about sharing where you go. If a person goes to a coffee shop and share that information via Timeline, an action link that says, “Save This Place” will appear underneath the entry. A friend can click on that to directly save that place to their to-do list on Foursquare.
In another example, Facebook demonstrated how design site Fab.com adds a “Fave this Product” that adds the product to users' favorites lists.
“Action links tie one action to another, and can be part of any Open Graph story,” Facebook's Alex Wyler wrote in a company blog announcing the new feature. Explaining further it said, “Developers can designate an action link for any action they define, which will then appear throughout Facebook.”
Moreover, “Open Graph Actions are the high-level “interactions' users can perform in your app,” Facebook added. “When these actions are published, the activities may appear in a users' Timeline or their friends' News Feeds and Ticker. Open Graph Action Links show up alongside the Like and Comment actions in any Open Graph story allowing friends to quickly take action in response to a story without having to navigate away from that story. This in turn will drive more distribution to your app with fewer user clicks.”
Among other improvements, Facebook “relaunched” Timeline and the Timeline apps at an event in January, where over 60 partners now provide apps for Facebook, as well as their own “verbs” on the Facebook Ticker. Under the new apps, users do not necessarily need to just “like” something; they can declare that they are “reading” a book or “ran” a particular route.
Developers interested in building their own timeline app with action links can get more information at Facebook's documentation page.