Open Graph Business Intelligence

// // April 06th 2011 // Social Media + Technology

Facebook’s Open Graph can be used as a valuable business intelligence tool.

Here’s how easy it can be to find out more about the people powering social media on your favorite sites.

How It Works

The Open Graph is populated with meta tags. One of these tags is fb:admins which is a list of Facebook user IDs.

fb:admins open graph tag

Here we are on a Time article that is clearly using the Open Graph.

Sample Time.com Article

The fb:admins tag is generally found on the home page (or root) of a site because that’s one of the ways you grant people access to Insights for Websites.

Lint Bookmarklet

You could open up a new tab and go to the Facebook Linter Tool to enter the domain or you can use my handy Bookmarklet that gives you one-click access to Lint that site.

Get Lint Info

Drag the link above to your bookmark bar and then click on it anytime you want to get information about the Open Graph mark-up from that site’s home page.

Linter Results

The results will often include a list of Facebook IDs. In this instance there are 8 administrators on the Time domain.

Facebook Lint for Time

Click on each ID to learn as much as that person’s privacy settings will allow. You can find out quite a bit when you do this.

In this instance I’ve identified Time’s Technical Lead, a Senior Program Manager (with a balloon decorating company on the side), a bogus test account (against Facebook rules) and the Program Manager, Developer Relations for … Facebook.

I guess it makes sense that Time would get some special attention from Facebook. Still, it raised my eyebrows to see a Facebook staffer as a Time administrator.

Cat Lee

Cat actually snagged ‘cat’ as her Facebook name (nicely done!) and says her favorite football team is the Eagles. I might be able to strike up a conversation with her about that. Go Eagles!

I’d probably also ask her why a fake test account is being used by Time.

Tester Time on Facebook

That is unless Time really does have a satanic handball enthusiast on staff.

Dig Deeper

Sometimes a site won’t use fb:admins but will authenticate using fb:app_id instead. But that doesn’t mean your sleuthing has come to an end. Click on the App ID number and you’ll usually go to that application.

Time Facebook Application Developer Information

By clicking on Info I’m able to view a list of Developers. Some of these I’ve already seen via fb:admins but two of them are actually new, providing a more robust picture of Time’s social media efforts and resources.

You’ll only be stymied if the site is using fb:page_id to authenticate. That’s generally a dead end for business intelligence.

Open Graph Business Intelligence

I imagine this type of information might be of interest to a wide variety or people from recruiters to journalists to sales and business development professionals. You could use this technique on its own or collect the names and use LinkedIn and Google to create a more accurate picture of those individuals.

How would you use this information?

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Comments About Open Graph Business Intelligence

// 1 comments so far.

  1. Rick // April 06th 2011

    Nice work AJ

    Now I have to find a way to amuse myself with this new found intelligence.

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