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Social networking giant Facebook has announced that it will be opening up its service to third party companies, hoping to end the days of closed platform social networks. Starting tonight, developers will begin integrating their services with the Facebook platform. Facebook has recruited about 65 companies to begin working on the platform already. The announcement came in front of 750 developers and internet professionals at the f8 conference, and has created quite a stir.

An example of the usefulness of this change is the addition of Amazon.com functionality to Facebook. Starting Thursday, Facebook users will be able to post book reviews to their Facebook profile. Other developers include Forbes, Attendio and Oodle. This change could make Facebook an internet operating system of sorts, allowing many useful additions to the fairly simple current site functionality. Facebook hopes the drastic change to internet platform will encourage more visits to the already 6th most popular site on the internet.

Opinion
This is a much needed step for Facebook as it seeks to continue its unbelievable growth. Earlier this year, Facebook opened its doors to non-university students and non-students and has seen very rapid growth. This change could potentially increase revenue at Facebook as third parties and Facebook create partnerships. However, as an avid Facebook user, I hope that this change doesn’t take away from the simplicity that defines Facebook. With so many other social networking sites waiting to take over, one wrong move could send users flooding to other services.

Written by | dave

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3 Comments

  1. BetterLabs

    May 25, 2007 at 9:53 am

    I am really really surprised why everyone thinks this is new. Salesforce.com did the exact same thing several years back, and it should not have taken any large social network to have epiphany to think of this. The on-demand platform model worked very well for Salesforce.com, but I am not sure the same applies to consumer social networks. Its tough to think that we will do “all” our social interactions in one network. If this is just a way for them to boost their traffic… sure, it definitely will do that I am sure. Essentially, the app developers who build for facebook will market facebook further as well.

    I am not sure this is SO market changing and SO big. And Salesforce.com did the same long back. Ofcourse, I am also not sure if I am right :-)

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