Christian Hernandez is Director of Platform Partnerships at Facebook, and he took to the stage at The Next Web Conference in Amsterdam today, to talk us through local and global social connections, and how global brands are leveraging the so-called ‘viral loop’ through the open graph.

“900 million is the current number of active users on Facebook, think about the scale of what that means on a global basis,” he said. “Half a billion is the number of people who come back to Facebook on a daily basis.”

Big numbers for sure, and it’s these kinds of numbers that Hernandez based today’s main announcement on, whilst noting that there may be just three degrees of separation between the people in the room…friends of friends is key to how virality grows. And it’s this that helps to highlight the power of Facebook apps for brands.

Since f8 in 2011, Facebook has been providing a platform for a number of companies’ apps, including Deezer, which Hernandez says gets 200,000 new users a week from the social network. Today, Hernandez revealed “a new class of Timeline apps”, covering 18 companies across 11 countries in Europe and the Middle East.

He stressed ‘local’ appeal too with these latest roll-outs, with the likes of Le Monde, Le Figaro, Sky Italy and Canal+ among the slew of new additions. “If I watch a video on Canal+, that now becomes part of my timeline”, says Hernandez.

Then there’s donation platform JustGiving, which has already been harnessing the power of Facebook to encourage people to give money to good causes – it received £22m in funds through Facebook last year. “Each share on Facebook generates £5 in donations”, says Hernandez. “We give them tools to make that giving more efficient.”

Indeed it’s anticipated that by 2015, more than half of all donations will come through Facebook. Today, JustGiving is switching on a Timeline application, which allows you to share with your friends while you donate, and it will let you see how much you’ve donated to different charities over time.

The Next Web will be getting a hands on with all these new apps later this afternoon, and we’ll be sure to bring you the lowdown on these. Meanwhile, you can follow all of TNW’s conference activity here.