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This article was published on May 2, 2012

Facebook introduces “action links” to interact with your favorite apps

Facebook introduces “action links” to interact with your favorite apps

We’ve noted a few times now that apps are getting a huge boost thanks to Facebook’s Open Graph and Timeline integration, and it looks like the boost might get bigger.

Facebook introduced a new feature for apps posting to your Timeline called “action links” today, which allow people to engage with the content that you share in a deeper way.

Here’s what Facebook had to say about action links today:

Starting today, there’s a new way for people to interact with your timeline app directly from Facebook: action links. These customizable links provide another way for people to do something within your app when your Open Graph stories appear in news feed, timeline, or ticker.

For example, when someone checks in on foursquare and shares it on their timeline, friends can already like or comment on the resulting post through the links that appear as part of the story. Now with action links, foursquare added another link – “Save this Place” – that enables people to save a place to their foursquare to-do list directly from Facebook.

Here’s what the foursquare action link looks like:

This opens up all types of capabilities for apps who have multiple actions that can be taken with the content that it shares on your Timeline. The foursquare example is a great one, but for something like, you could save an item to buy on its site later:

The actions are definable by the developers and this could very well drive direct sales or actions within an app in huge numbers. It’s also a great way to entice people to sign up for your product if they aren’t already. For example, tapping a “pin” button on something posted from Pinterest could drive you to a signup form so you can request an invite.

For music apps like Spotify, this could be a great way to quickly add new tracks to your playlist, if the company were to add a “save to playlist” action link.

Facebook continues to blur the lines between content from apps and the social graph and is doing a pretty amazing job of it.