Facebook's New Features: What's Coming to Facebook From F8

Facebook's third developer conference caused a stir of web activity after a slew of new features were announced at f8. Highlighting this list of new Facebook features were social plugins that will spread Facebook functionality to the rest of the web without the need for people to log in to individual websites, including a 'like' button that can send information back to Facebook.

So let's take a look at some of the new Facebook features that were announced:

Social Plugins. This is the change that will make the biggest impact on the web. Facebook has streamlined their API to be easier to use and provided enhanced functionality that will allow website owners to add social integration to their websites. This includes a "Like" button that users can push to share an article or website on Facebook, but it goes beyond just a simple button.

Social plugins will allow users to hold conversations with their friends on the website without the need to go to the Facebook website or even log in to the site. The site can also display a list of recommended articles or an activity feed to show what their friends are talking about in real time.

In essence, these social plugins create a social networking side of virtually any website that uses them.

Smarter Profiles. Along with the social plugins is the ability to send information back to Facebook, including links to articles you 'like' on the web. But beyond that, Facebook is able to create a social graph by adding what you like to your profile. For example, if you like a specific movie on RottenTomatoes, it could appear in your favorite movies list in your Facebook Profile.

A More Knowledgeable Facebook. Going alongside smarter profiles is the fact that Facebook will become an encyclopedia of information about each of us users. This not only allows Facebook to create smarter advertisements that can better target an audience, it is also raising a lot of concern among privacy advocates who are worried about what Facebook might do with this information.

More Personal Details Shared With Apps. Facebook is opening up more information to apps and allowing apps to store information on users for longer periods of time. This will no doubt spawn new breeds of apps that are able to do a lot more than current Facebook apps, but it is also another concern for privacy advocates.

Facebook Credits. One key revenue strategy for many Facebook apps, especially social games, is the ability to perform in-app purchases. Currently, each app must deal with this separately, but through the inclusion of a universal currency called Facebook Credits, users will be able to purchase credits from Facebook and then use them in any app. This will not only make it much easier for us as users to perform in app purchases without worrying about sending our credit card information all over the web, it'll also mean we are more likely to make these purchases, which spells more money for app developers.

Standardized Login Authentication. This one is going to be mostly invisible to users, but Facebook will conform to the OAuth 2.0 standard for login authentication. This makes it much easier for website developers hoping to allow users to login based on their Facebook, Twitter or Yahoo credentials.