Last updated: April 22, 2010 - 8:12am
Facebook announced an ambitious plan to get its tentacles further out into the Internet by better linking people, places and things, as it looks to turn a massive audience into a pool of well-understood consumers.
A centerpiece of the changes involves a simple button, offered to other Web sites, that says "Like." For free, other Web sites can install a Facebook "Like" button that users can click on to signal their interest in a piece of content, such as a band, article or particular pair of sunglasses. The user's approval then shows up on his or her Facebook page, with a link back to the site. The idea is that other Web sites will drive traffic back to Facebook.com, and in turn receive traffic from Facebook. Other sites can also offer personalized modules, telling individual users what their Facebook friends have done on the site, such as review a restaurant. The new "Like" buttons transmit data about user activity back to Facebook. If people like a band, for example, a link to the band could appear in their interests. Since advertisers can already target ads to users' interests, the new buttons could give advertisers more data to target ads to, but Facebook said it isn't currently launching any new ad-targeting products in conjunction with the service. Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg said Wednesday that the company has no current plans to sell ads on other sites.
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