Open Graph is Facebook’s extremely extensive application programming interface (API). Open Graph makes it easy to integrate your website with Facebook and make sure your stuff is shared by all, or at least some, of Facebook’s 955 million users.
The goal of Open Graph is to make it easy for your site to play nice with Facebook. Open Graph powers those great Facebook ‘Like’ buttons, makes it possible to login to other web applications with your Facebook credentials, and even allows you to comment using Facebook comments.
A great way to get started with Open Graph is to implement a special set of tags on your website. What these tags do is allow you to control the headline, photo, and description that show up when users share your content on their status updates.
If you have ever seen your articles shared with some weirdo picture or gibberish in the description field, then it’s time for you to take charge! Lucky for you, Facebook went as far as to create a new set of meta HTML tags for this exact purpose.
In order to control what headline, description, link, and images users share on Facebook you just need to add the following code between the <head></head> tags in your site (and of course, edit the content to fit your site):
<meta property="og:title" content="Skillcrush Daily Newsletter: Open Graph" />
<meta property="og:url" content="http://www.skillcrush.com/article" />
<meta property="og:image" content="http://www.skillcrush.com/images" />
<meta property="og:site_name" content="Skillcrush" />
<meta property="og:description" content="A tech term that explains Facebook’s Open Graph" />
So go get those tags into your site header, and for Pete’s sake, like us on Facebook.
Cocktail Party Fact
In a 2010 New Yorker article, Mark Zuckerberg told reporter Jose Antonio Vargas about his vision for the future of Facebook and the (then) newly launched Open Graph:
“Zuckerberg imagines Facebook as, eventually, a layer underneath almost every electronic device. You’ll turn on your TV, and you’ll see that fourteen of your Facebook friends are watching “Entourage,” and that your parents taped “60 Minutes” for you.”
Two short years ago he said this, and now…here.we.are.