It's no secret that Facebook has big ambitions and has supposedly turned down huge buyout offers. However, at the same time, there's been a lot of talk about how, despite tons of page views, advertisers weren't entirely thrilled with the returns they got from advertising in Facebook. Still, the site is unquestionably popular, and in many ways more palatable than MySpace, which has built up a tremendously negative reputation in the eyes of many. Over the past year, Facebook has also been aggressive in rolling out a variety of new features to make it start looking like much more than "yet another social network," and the latest is that the company is going to start positioning itself much more as a platform for others to build on. It's already made some effort to allow others to build on its platform via APIs, but this sounds like they're going even further in that direction. There's certainly no guarantee that this will actually catch on, but we've long believed that the strategy to really "own" the next generation of internet users has to be based on being the platform on which apps are built. This is something Google should have done three years ago, but they continue to fall down on the job and certainly have opened up a huge opportunity for others to do it instead. Seeing Facebook as the latest such entrant isn't necessarily a huge surprise, but it again shows that Google's inability to focus on the platform side of things has opened the door for many others.
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