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.
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.