The application allows users to see who in their Facebook friend network is potentially affected by breaking weather. For example, if a tornado is heading toward Smyrna, a user can automatically send an alert and a message to all Facebook friends in their network who live in the area.
Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg reportedly told investors last week that almost 1 billion pieces of content are shared on Facebook via open graph every day, coming from about 5,000 open graph applications.
Mike Finnerty, vice president of The Weather Channel’s weather.com website, said he believes the Weather Channel’s application is one of the most useful.
“Instead of just posting passive information to your Facebook Timeline, or sharing alerts with your entire friend list, we are enabling you to see when weather news affects the people closest to you, and (it) allows you to send a direct message to a friend in a particular location affected by weather,” Finnerty said.
Finnerty said that insurance firm Travelers will also be providing property preparation and recovery tips aligned with specific weather events that show up in the weather feed.
“Keeping people safe is a core part of our mission,” Finnerty said. “For every severe weather season (hurricane, tornado, and winter storms), we think about how we raise the bar … to keep our users prepared and safe. … The weather has always been social. We naturally want to talk about it.”
Finnerty said that when his company launched a Twitter product last summer, “we saw during Hurricane Irene just how powerful social networks can be in spreading the word about weather.”
Emily Richardson of Mastermind, a social marketing agency in Atlanta, said almost all of her social media clients are leveraging open graph technology.
“There are virtually unlimited potential uses,” Richardson said. “That’s what makes the open graph so attractive for brands. It’s not just ‘there’s a storm in our area,’ it’s ‘the Weather Channel just told me there’s a storm in our area,’ — broadening the Weather Channel’s exposure to an exponential audience.”