Today Facebook and Salesforce.com announced a new partnership to help developers create new enterprise level applications. Salesforce is touting their new service as a way to “build your apps in the cloud” and the Force.com platform provides internal Facebook Connect calls. I’ve taken a look at the press release and I’m a bit confused as to what the big revolution is here.
There are two takeaways from this announcement: Facebook wants to also position itself for the enterprise, and the new Force.com platform can also be used to build Facebook applications. In regards to the first part, that Facebook wants to be positioned for the enterprise, this is not surprising considering the recent launch of the LinkedIn platform.
If Facebook is going to really have the most accurate image of the social graph, they need to be able to map all relationships, both personal and professional. Unfortunately while Facebook has already developed the tools to do so, it’s going to require a paradigm shift in the minds of consumers. Many people that I speak with are not willing to include their business contacts on Facebook.
This is definitely a big step for Facebook from a public relations standpoint. I think the company is going to have to make a stronger push for having Facebook as the center for every one of your contacts. In regards to the second part of this announcement, developers can now leverage the Force.com platform to develop their applications.
While I haven’t taken a look at the pricing, Salesforce is attempting to position itself as the “enterprise cloud computing company”. It’s an interesting pitch and what will be even more interesting is to see whether or not this succeeds. Currently Amazon has been offering a reliable, scalable platform for developers regardless of need.
For enterprise level applications I would imagine that this means more reliability and perhaps more security. For Facebook this means better positioning on the enterprise side and better applications, and for Salesforce this means integration into the largest social graph in the world. It will be interesting to see how soon enterprise applications start rolling out that integrate with Facebook.