Facebook introduces `Action Links` PDF Print E-mail

The world`s largest social network broadens the scope for direct interactions with Timeline applications.

Facebook has added customisable links, or `Action Links`, for Timeline applications.

The social network says the links provide another way for people to interact with applications and to publish actions via Open Graph to the news feed, Timeline or ticker.

Facebook software engineer, Alex Wyler, explains the new feature: “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.”

Other action links already introduced by applications include options such as `Fave this Product` or `Save this Recipe`.

“Action Links tie one action to another, and can be part of any Open Graph story. Developers can designate an Action Link for any action they define, which will then appear throughout Facebook,” says Wyler.

Take action

The new Action Links show up next to the `Like` and `Comment` actions, which Facebook says allows for user to quickly take action in response to a story. “This in turn will drive more distribution to your app with fewer user clicks.

“Action Links can be configured for a built-in action type or a custom action type. When the user takes the action, you should then publish a story against that action. The resulting Action Link story may be seen in the user`s Timeline, on their friends` news feed and ticker,” says Facebook.

Action Links are currently not available for mobile, but developers can find the full guide for setting up the new feature here.

Facebook introduced the first Timeline-optimised applications in January. The applications tap into Facebook`s Open Graph and are tightly integrated with the new design, with the option of `frictionless` sharing. The new applications also introduced `action verbs` which could be defined by developers and broadened the scope of the standard Facebook `Like`.

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