This is not directed to Stack Overflow as discussed many times before, SO does not seem to be in the social networking business. So let's not about talk Stack Overflow okay? (If there was a meta.stackexchange.com I wouldn't have to write this note)

What I am inquiring about is whether Stack Exchange will be looking at creating an application using Facebook Open Graph methods.

The current applications available are showcased at http://www.facebook.com/about/timeline/apps/ of which includes

Is it possible that Stack Exchange is looking for something similar?

e.g. Juni Cornilius answered Is it possible to cook a whole fish in a dishwasher?

The reason why is that this can be used as a great promotional device in a similar fashion to the current "Share link on Facebook, Twitter". As the number of SE sites grow there may be a greater need to promote one's own site and sometimes the MultiCollider SuperDropdown™ is not enough.

All sites are equal, but some sites are more equal than others.

Here are some screen shots to show what I mean. I rather not talk about possible overhead: Open Graph protocol should be integrated but rather what are other cons/pros to doing this. Seeing that Stack Exchange users are not allowed to handle the SE twitter accounts and instead asked to use their self as a brand, this may be a step in the right direction, in my opinion. If this was possible outside of SE, I would try it but looking at the documentation, I am not so sure.

Recently Answered? Seeing that no one reads alt

Maybe Cooking does not want this but you get the idea, regular non-technical Joes sharing their knowledge.

Again, refrain from using SO as a basis, this will be about the regular joes.

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    OMG how stupid are you SO is not a social network -1!!!!!!!1 (jk) – Pekka Jan 22 '12 at 22:36
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    Ugh, seeing as this is really getting downvotes, a serious comment - this makes a lot of sense. Whether you like FB or not, not using its reach to attract new visitors to SE sites would be really dumb long-term. – Pekka Jan 22 '12 at 22:40
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    Facebook in title, -1, no need to read the question... :P – yannis Jan 22 '12 at 22:50
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    I always welcome more ways to spam 20,000 messages a day at my friends. – Ben Brocka Jan 26 '12 at 16:44
  • @BenBrocka I will assume sarcasm as the above discussion is not asking about Facebook messaging. The "Recently Read" was a copy from Washington Post application, it could be interchangeable with "Recently Asked" or "Recently Answered", the point was just to show how it looked. – phwd Jan 26 '12 at 17:01
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    I understand how open graphy works...it's just exactly why I'm against it. – Ben Brocka Jan 26 '12 at 17:03
  • @BenBrocka you are against the open graph because you understand open graph. I totally understand </sarcasm> I rather you said you are against it because Spotify used to automatically share tracks or some apps don't allow control over what is being shared or some kind of reason – phwd Jan 26 '12 at 17:14
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    Doesn't every single Facebook user find the constant stream of Spotify open graph actions like "your mom is now listening to Britney Spears" to be very annoying? – bkaid Jan 26 '12 at 17:14
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    @OffBySome show data to back it up and I will believe you. Otherwise this is an empty generalist claim – phwd Jan 26 '12 at 17:19

We aren't planning on supporting Open Graph any time soon.

We looked into it and while it's technically straightforward, we're not sure it's something people will actually want. At the very least, it would have to be opt-in for users, and given the low use rate of Facebook login and the FB share button we're not sure anybody would bother enabling it.

On a personal note (not the official stance of the company), the existing OG apps seem more like a way for companies to spam advertisements into Facebook than a real win for users.

Feel free to vote the question up / this answer down if you feel like this is something you would enable for your account (not a hypothetical "oh yes, I could see how someone else might do that") and we'll reconsider.

  • Fair enough. This, plus the Britney Spears comment above, make me think this isn't such a necessary feature after all. As a positive counter-example though, @ChrisF has started sharing especially curious or noteworthy questions over on Google+, and until now, it has been worth following the link every time. Something like that would be cool, although I guess there is no need (nor way) to automate that – Pekka Jan 26 '12 at 21:42
  • @Pekka The Britney Spears comment was pretty mindless and lacked facts imo and that's certainly a result of apparent hate from StackOverflow users not necessarily the Stack Exchange community or even Facebook users at large. I said it before, it's a generalist statement and a stupid one as it stands. It's like me saying Aren't all StackOverflow users introverted, show snide remarks to new users and anti-social? or Aren't all moderators fascist? But I know that not to be true ... unfortunately some users aren't able to prevent themselves from generalizing what they don't understand. – phwd Jan 27 '12 at 1:17
  • @phwd it was a generalization and not much of an objective statement, you're right. I wouldn't be actively against this feature because if it's used, it can increase the reach of the network. But when I think about it, I have to agree with the general direction of the Britney Spears comment - I have yet to see a real-life Open Graph application that I found actually offered added value for me. What my FB friends have to offer amounts to more or less corporate spam, as David says - "X Person read Y article" kind of stuff, stuff better off actively shared. I'm open to counter-examples though! – Pekka Jan 27 '12 at 10:20

If Stack Exchange browses the Facebook questions on Stack Overflow, they probably won't once they realize what a pain integrating with the Facebook developer platform is with the never ending stream of breaking changes, bugs, and lack of documentation.

  • Well, this is a fair counter-argument. :) – Pekka Jan 23 '12 at 9:07
  • Yeah, but that's Stack Exchange's problem. The question is - is the pain worth the benefit? Like it or not, there's an audience on Facebook, and it would bring more people here. – Pollyanna Jan 26 '12 at 16:12
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    Browse facebook.stackoverflow.com enough and look at the non-stop flow of off-topic (now deleted) Facebook end user questions. I think there are 20+ questions a day just about how to turn off Facebook timeline. Do they want more of that hassle? – bkaid Jan 26 '12 at 16:14
  • By your logic you are saying that the devs at SE have the average skill of those who to try to add a Facebook app to their Page tab by simply saying give me the code. Most of the deleted and closed questions are horrible and low quality and show lack of programming as well as research on part of the user. So honestly I am not sure what point you are trying to make. The most reasonable path for Facebook would be to add StackExchange as a partner and place them on the beta.facebook.com track to avoid breaking apps when a release is pushed. – phwd Jan 26 '12 at 16:56
  • I don't see how your bitterness towards facebook.stackoverflow.com has anything to with the competence of the Stack Exchange devs – phwd Jan 26 '12 at 16:57
  • And who is to stay the feature has no value? What are these better things StackExchange has to do? Where are you getting this information from? Your latest participation on the SE network doesn't show you even know what is going on outside of Stack Overflow. – phwd Jan 26 '12 at 17:18

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