There was one big thing that was missed in all the hype surrounding Facebook's earnings report today: Open Graph. Announced at f8 2011, the new class of social apps is responsible for all the "frictionless sharing" you've been seeing on the social network lately. During the investors call today, Facebook co-founder and CEO Zuckerberg unveiled that every day, almost 1 billion pieces of content are shared on Facebook via Open Graph.
I would estimate this is coming from some 5,000 Open Graph apps (back in March, Facebook had 3,000). Because Open Graph essentially means automatic sharing on your Timeline, as well as your Facebook friends' Ticker and News Feed, many apps have seen explosive growth. Update on July 27: "More than 4,500 timeline apps have launched since January 2012," a Facebook spokesperson said in a statement.
Here's why this is a big deal. Just over a year ago, Zuckerberg announced that Facebook users were sharing 4 billion things on the social network every day, and that the number was growing at an exponential rate. He also said that on average, every Facebook user shares twice the amount of items they shared a year ago.
That was in July 2011, when Open Graph didn't even exist. So, not only has Open Graph single-handedly added another billion to Facebook's sharing total, but it did so to a number that is already in the multiple billions (basic math tells us it's at 8 billion already).
I wouldn't be surprised if Zuckerberg will soon say Facebook has passed the 10 billion daily mark. Maybe he'll announce the milestone at f8 2012?
Update, July 27 at 9 a.m. PT: I estimated that Facebook had 5,000 Timeline apps. The company got back to me today to say that the number is closer to 4,500.