Facebook Going Platform

from the betting-big dept

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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Comments on “Facebook Going Platform”

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Anonymous Coward says:

“And that had something to do with Google how?
Social networking sites will have thier rise and fall like everyone of them before it. Xanga, Myspace, MSN Spaces, they all went to the waysiade eventually. So will Facebook.”

WOW! Misguided AND uninformed.

It has to do with Google since the author was stating google should have offered their product as a platform to build upon like facebook is going to try to do. And I don’t think Myspace has gone by the wayside, while Xanga and MSN Spaces were never mainstream.

Eric says:

The Real Reason FB is King

No annoying MySpace HTML and CSS edited profiles. Everything is clean, smooth, and uniform. Theres less too look at for the ADHD kiddies, but if you’re just looking to keep up with your friends, you can’t beat it. The minute they open up and allow annoying ass backgrounds and profile songs, the minute they lose out.

Geeb says:

Privacy settings

Facebook has added a “Development Platform” section to the Privacy settings page, in which there are a load of “I want to share xxxxxxxxx information from my profile with anything that uses the development platform” options.

These weren’t announced with any great fanfare, and they are not very obvious from the privacy settings unless you know you need to look for them. What’s more, a lot of the options are enabled by default.

Not a brilliant start if they are trying to capitalize on a greater perceived trustworthiness than myspace…

Brad says:

API Worthless

I’ve developed a bit on Facebook’s API, and as it stands it’s next to worthless. You’re able to get fragments of information (Friends list, upload pictures, etc) but the things you’d actually care about, like having a news ticker for your friends activities, XML feeds, etc are not only unoffered, FB actively shuts down projects working to build these features.

If they want to be taken serriously as a platform, they need to decide it’s what they want to do, not offer fragments of code to small “tools”

Though, the “Export Friend’s Birthdays to iCal” tool is pretty spiffy. I do like having everyone’s birthdays in my WM5 phone.

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