This week at F8, the annual Facebook conference, the social network giant is unveiling a new content-sharing button that other websites can embed on their pages. Similar in concept to Digg and other Internet rating sites, the new feature will expand Facebook’s reach across social networking by allowing users to select the type of content they prefer by marking it with a “like” button.
The Financial Times is reporting that the announcement of a content-sharing button is one of many that will be unveiled this week. Facebook is denying that they will use the tool to track users in order to target them with specific ads based on their Internet preferences, although ads on Facebook are currently specifically tailored based on profile information including age, location, gender, favorite music and more that the users volunteered when signing up.
Currently the “like” feature is limited to commenting on people’s posted statuses, but it will soon expand and replace the “Become a fan” button that is related to businesses and organizations on the site. It may seem like a minor change, but mixing the “like” feature to include what products and service you like in addition to sharing content from certain webpages and articles, could help developers deliver more specifically tailored ads to you, which would allow advertisers to target the demographics that they want.
The changes are subtle, but with an increased shift into a more sophisticated series of user tracking software applications, Facebook is expanding from its origins as a social networking site, and becoming more of an all-in-one site, where users will be able to find news, ads, and products that are specifically tailored to their interests.
The F8 conference begins this Wednesday in San Francisco.