Shared links site shows power of Facebook

With Facebook proclaiming its 'Open Graph' as the future of the web at its F8 conference in San Francisco last week, it was only a matter of time before developers showed the world what the social networking giant’s information-sharing tools could do.

In the event, a marketing man beat them to it.

In a single evening, Matt Schlicht, a product manager at internet video-sharing site Ustream, put together ItsTrending.com, a site that ranks the most popular shared content on Facebook.

The site uses Facebook's Recommendation social plugin to collect the information, which is sorted by category.

"Check it out," he told Twitter users on Friday. "A Live Feed of Top Shared Content on Facebook! I threw this together last night – enjoy."

"This is a good example of how easy the Facebook plugins are to implement," Matt Schlicht, a product manager at Ustream, toldIT blog TechCrunch. "I’m a product guy, not a developer."

The site is the first demonstration of the ease with which Facebook's social linking tools can be used to provide information to third parties.

It wasn't long, though, before problems had Schlicht acknowledging the dangers of a Facebook-dominated web. The day after he'd put together his site, he tweeted: "All of Facebook's Social Plugins are broken... Welcome to the downside of relying on one site."