Today, Marc Andreessen discussed in his blog the three types of platforms on the internet. In short the three platforms were:
- Level 1 – This is sites with a basic web service API. Many sites currently offer this including Amazon, Google, del.icio.us, flickr and many more.
- Level 2 – Level 2 is what Facebook currently is. Developers build applications that plug-in to the platform but host it themselves. The main problem with this version is that server load is handled by the developers. As Marc states, the developers still need “to provide their own runtime system, programming language, database, servers, storage, networking, bandwidth, and security, and who still needs to take responsibility for running all of the above.”
- Level 3 – On a level 3 platform, developers upload their code into the platform itself, which is where that code runs.
Marc enjoys showing off that Ning is a level 3 platform. With the announcement of Facebook providing data storage, don’t you think they’ll eventually create a level 3 platform? They are providing just about everything else. Considering that they acquired Parakey, which was aiming to become the web based operating system, I have a feeling they are going to become a level 3 platform as well.