Facebook Adds ‘Action Links’ for Timeline Apps

May 4, 2012 at 2:26 PM | Posted in FaceBook Features | Leave a comment
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On Wednesday(02-05-12), Facebook added “action links,” the next step beyond the “action verbs” used by Timeline apps running on top of the Facebook platform.

Facebook used two as an 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.

According to Facebook, the new action links go beyond just commenting or liking a post, or clicking through a link that someone else has embedded. Action links allow the user to take a direct action within the app itself.

“Action links tie one action to another, and can be part of any Open Graph story,” according to Facebook. “Developers can designate an action link for any action they define, which will then appear throughout Facebook.”

The Timeline will originally show an action that a friend took: one “cooked” a recipe, for example. The box will then invite the user to “save this recipe”. After doing so, the user’s Timeline will then indicate that the user “saved a recipe”.

“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.”

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 don’t necessarily need to just “like” something; they can declare that they are “reading” a book or “ran” a particular route.

Facebook recently allowed users to declare themselves organ donors, even if that statement did not carry the force of law.

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