A couple of weeks ago, right after Facebook announced their new "like" buttons for websites,
service to implement them automatically, doing so within three days of their announcement.
But there was a lot more to Facebook's announcement than the simple "like" buttons. And today we're announcing our implementation of some of these other features.
Open Graph Protocol
Facebook also announced a technology called "Open Graph" - which is an ambitious attempt to start tagging web pages with what is called "semantic data." The open graph data lets Facebook (and others) know not only that you "like" a webpage, but, more importantly what that web page is about.
If the web page is about a movie, then movie applications can use open graph data in exciting ways, if the webpage is about an event, then your calendar application can schedule you for attendance, and, for our purposes, if the web page is about a painting - we can provide the details about that painting.
If you're a real geek - here are the details about Open Graph protocol
Why does this matter? You may be wondering - let me see if I can explain with an example.
As you can see to the right of the painting, the Facebook "Like" button appears and has been clicked several times. The faces of people who "Like" this webpage appear under the button - so far this is just a "standard" Facebook "Like" button. Scroll down below the screenshot to see what the "Open Graph Protocol" adds.
The Open Graph Protocol adds more detailed information about the painting, such as the title, the main URL, where to find the image, the site name, whether the item is a physical "product" or a blog post or something else.
Below is the open graph code we added to the page shown above to tell Facebook the details about Dieul's painting:
What the Open Graph Protocol Accomplishes for Artists
Here's where it get's fun. Here's what appears on my Facebook profile when I share with the world how much I like Dieul's artwork:
Notice that Facebook automatically brought in the image of the painting, the title and details about the painting, etc. What's really powerful about this is that all of my Facebook friend's saw this and are also given the chance to see the artwork, right in their Facebook stream.
This seems like a really powerful opportunity for artists. It's one thing to use Facebook to "like" a blog post, or a website, but what artists really need is a way to let people "like" their actual artworks!
So that's what we're experimenting with on our Enhanced templates.
All of our enhanced templates now let you embed Open Graph Protocol enabled like buttons on all artwork: The setting is found in your FASO control panel under My Artwork Portfolio >> Edit the Works Display >> Options For Enhanced Templates >> Use Facebook Like Buttons on Works (Select "Yes").
This feature is still in Beta testing because there are certain things we want to do with it, that are difficult without forcing you, the artist, to register your website as a Facebook application (like sucking the image directly into the stream). We are trying to figure a workaround to save you from that headache, but the general functionality is there now.
Software Craftsman and Art Fanatic