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Facebook shows platform face

Social networkers of the world unite
Fri May 25 2007, 10:14
THE WORLD, or at least the west coast of the US, is all a twitter on the eve of an announcement to be made today by king of the social networking castle, Facebook.

An event, to be held under the powder blue skies of beautiful San Francisco at 3pm PDT, has been widely trailed. Facebook will say that it wants to be a platform and is opening its APIs up to all-comers. Bring your apps and plug in to our user base, would appear to be the message.

Who will buy into this? According to the excellent TechCrunch, not just Web 2.0 wibblers but also the likes of Microsoft and Amazon.com. And, if TechCrunch is right, and it usually is, what's unusual here is that rather just accepting widget-level add-ons, whole chunks of functionality will be swappable.

This is analogous to the attitude on the business web of Salesforce.com with its AppExchange platform that lets third-parties develop plug-in applications that could eventually be more useful than Salesforce's core sales force automation and CRM tools.

Many years ago, the openness of DOS and Windows to ISVs made a business for thousands of companies. It's happening again. µ

 

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