Facebook’s action links – new potential for branded apps

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On Wednesday Facebook launched action links: “a new way for people to interact with your timeline app directly from Facebook”.

An action link is a customised link which sits alongside the classic “comment” and “like” options in open graph stories on the timeline, newsfeed and ticker.

Action link Facebook Foursquare save this place

One of the examples of an action link, given by Facebook, is foursquare. When someone checks in, friends now have the option to “Save this Place” in addition to commenting and liking the story. Clicking “Save this Place” adds the location from Facebook, directly to your foursquare to-do list.

The other example is Fab.com, where the action link “Fave this Product” will enable people to add an item into their own Fab.com favourites.

What action can brands take?

The potential for action links is great. Each app now has the option to drive more people to engage in a single action. For example, after completing a purchase on Amazon, you are given the option to share what you have just bought with friends by posting a story to your Facebook timeline. On this story, Amazon could include the action link: “Add to Basket” or “Add to Wish List”, allowing friends to easily make the same purchase.

This new release will allow open graph apps on Facebook to integrate personalised actions into their stories, increasing the possibilities and removing barriers for interaction. With this extra level of integration, it appears that the Facebook timeline, newsfeed and ticker are becoming a more interactive and potentially engaging space. However, as apps become increasingly integrated, the line is further blurred between being on the Facebook platform and the wider web.

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