Facebook launches Social Plugins

The social media site announces new sharing features at its f8 developers conference, with the Globe and Mail and NHL.com on board as launch partners.

Facebook just got a lot more social with today’s announcement of a suite of new tools designed to allow Facebook users browsing the web to bring their friends into the experience.

The new Social Plugins tools were announced at the f8 developers summit in San Francisco, which is currently underway, followed by a flurry of press releases about the new product. GlobeandMail.com was hot out of the gate in announcing the integration of the new tools into its site, which will allow its readers to ‘endorse’ articles using a FB ‘Like’ button, view a live Activity Feed of other friends who might be on the site at the same time, and see a live list of article recommendations based on friends’ likes or dislikes, generated by a Recommendations plugin. All features are integrated into the GlobeandMail.com browsing experience and are shown on the user’s Facebook profile as well.

At the same time, NHL.com announced its adoption of the Like, Recommendations and Activity Feed tools as well. The tools, the release stated, are ‘an important component of the league’s ‘Hockey Marketplace’ syndication strategy with third-party sites.’

In his keynote address, shared on the Facebook blog, company founder Mark Zuckerberg said that the tools embody the idea of the ‘social graph,’ a Zuckerberg-coined phrase that encompasses his idea that everyone is connected together on the internet via their connections and the things they like. The Social Plugins, he says, put that idea into the public realm and allow Facebook users to not only publicly connect with one another but more easily (and obviously) share the things they like as well.