Archive for December 12th, 2007

Facebook to License Application Platform

Dec 12, 2007 in Facebook, OpenSocial

With recent announcements the list of social networks all offering their own application platform is growing. Now we have APIs for Friendster, Bebo, LinkedIn, and more. This is obviously great for users and developers alike, but could also lead to a lot of frustration amongst developers having to manage several different platforms for their applications. This is where OpenSocial is was supposed to come in and save the day by providing a standard across many, many, many social networking sites. Nearly all of the major ones, except, you guessed it, Facebook.

For whatever reason Facebook wasn’t invited to this social. Left alone outside the party they decided, in traditional Facebook manner, to take matters into their own hands and have just announced today that they are willing to license the Facebook Application Platform to any social network who wants to integrate their methods and tags into their own system.

This is fantastic news for the already 100,000 plus Facebook developers because this means they’ll be able to make their Facebook applications available to other social networks with virtually no work at all. Suddenly OpenSocial isn’t looking so strong. However this all plays out, it’s sure to be a bumpy ride in the beginning as different networks battle it out over what will eventually become the de facto standards for application development. Has Facebook already won that title? Only time will tell.

For the full scoop from the horses mouth check out the announcement on the Facebook Developers Blog. For you developers out there, you’ll want to check out the Facebook FBML High-Level Technical Specification to find out the technical details.

So what are your thoughts? Do you think this is good news or bad news for developers? Will we see further market fragmentation or will it be a Facebook world? Let us know what you think in the comments.

Update: It looks like Bebo is already working with Facebook to implement the Facebook Platform Architecture and are announcing at their Bebo Platform launch event today that they are nearly 100% compatible with Facebook’s API, tags, queries, etc.