Mark Zuckerberg and a handful of senior Facebook Executives attended a special edition of the London Facebook Developer Garage on Monday.
Their arrival signifies the start of a European expansion in conjunction with the continued push for developers and sites to adopt the Open Graph Protocol. At the event a number of interesting statistics were announced by Zuckerberg and the other executives.
The major announcement was that Facebook has now reached 26 million unique users in the UK. Also announced was 50% of all “Likes” originate from within Europe, which is about 50 million out of the reported 100 million likes so far, an early indicator of the popularity of the Social Plugin platform released at f8 a few months ago.
During his introduction Mark Zuckerberg talked about the interesting applications that he’d seen at the Facebook Hackathon the previous day, and reiterated what was said at the f8 conference, how important the Open Graph and Social Plug-ins are to enable social experiences across the web and how easy it is to implement. He also talked a bit more about the Instant Personalisation feature that has received so much criticism in recent weeks, explaining that the reason for it is to allow users to have a seamless and frictionless social expericence while browsing other sites than Facebook, removing the need for them to “Connect” or “Login” to Facebook in order to see a the site in a social context.
After Zuckerberg’s keynote several high profile partners were brought on stage to discuss their success stories on the Facebook Platform, amongst them was Gustav Söderström, VP of Products from Spotify about how they used the platform to create a new generation of social music application.
Mike Vernal spoke about all the new technology innovations in the Graph API and the Social Plugins, he talked about the evolution of the platform and a number of other things to help developers understand the latest offerings from Facebook.
Joanna Sheilds has recently taken on the role of Sales and Business Development in Europe, she spoke about how important it was for Facebook to continue it’s expansion in the EU and talked about the ways they will be engaging with the developer community to help the platform grow.
At the end Mark Zuckerberg, Ethan Beard, Mike Vernal and Joanna Shields sat and answered questions from the room full of press and developers, amongst the topics talked about was the new “Credits” system that Facebook has been testing with a select number of partners such as Zynga and PlayFish, all they revealed was that they are working on fine tuning the payment methods to make it as friction-less as possible to end users and that they would be talking more about it in the coming months, they did say however that eventually the Credits platform will be open to all developers to use in their applications.
In response to a question about a Location API and a set of services built around a users Location Zuckerberg simply answered that they were working on their Location services but offered no timeframe for when we will begin to hear more about them.
Zuckerberg was also asked about the 5,000 friend limit on all Facebook accounts, to which he explained that it was not high on the development list since not very many people had over 5,000 friends in real life, and explained that the reason for the limit in the first place was due to people with high volumes of friends having a poor experience due of the sheer amount of friend data that needed to be processed on each page request.
The event marked a good turning point for all European based Facebook Developers and it will be good to see more of a Facebook presence outside of their Palo Alto offices in California.