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The Social Graph June 30, 2011

Posted by stewsutton in Social.

According to Wikipedia, the social graph is a term coined by scientists working in the social areas of graph theory. It has been described as “the global mapping of everybody and how they’re related”.The term was popularized at the Facebook conference on May 24, 2007, when it was used to explain that the Facebook Platform, which was introduced at the same time, would benefit from the social graph by taking advantage of the relationships between individuals, that Facebook provides, to offer a richer online experience. The definition has been expanded to refer to a social graph of all Internet users.

For businesses seeking to leverage the social graph concept as a core function of the business, it has become relatively easy to integrate with existing services like Facebook that are offering an expanding social graph. Some integrations look like the tightly coupled Zynga games that operate in close connection to the Facebook platform. Close coupling with Facebook allows the social network of friends to be a click away in an application that has a friends and family network component.

So having a social graph integration strategy is important for network based businesses.  As platforms like Facebook and Twitter expand their social graphs around the world, it becomes less likely that a business will want to make the investment re-create that same information.  While this increases the near monopoly that companies like Facebook have in this space, it also makes it easy to decide what to integrate with.


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