Tonight’s announcement by Facebook was a huge milestone for the company. Developers have been calling for a more open platform and it looks like Facebook has finally decided to give it to them. Included in the updates is not only an open status API which I claimed would potentially kill Twitter, but also shared links which means we will soon see the rise of Facebook news aggregators.
Granted, we don’t have limitless access to shared links, but I think aggregation will really be the key thing resulting from these new features. Through the power of Facebook Connect, companies can also rely completely on Facebook for hosting videos, photos, status updates, news articles, and more. Additionally, this new open layer will allow Facebook Connect communities as well as communities within the platform to create their own content aggregators.
Want to know what all users from within the AllFacebook community are sharing or linking within their status? We can now tell you a lot more about that thanks to the updated API.
It also appears that status update comments will also be visible via the API but I haven’t seen this implemented yet. If you are a developer or business owner that’s leveraged the Facebook API, you can now create interesting community tools. One example would be “What Our Community is Saying”, with a streaming list of the most recent status updates by the users.
Still Not Completely Opened
While all of these changes are warmly welcomed by the developer community, there are still a lot of things that are not provided by the platform. For instance, there is no API call for Videos.get. Right now all you can do is upload videos but not view them. Also, there are limitations on what shared links your application has access to.
Rather than searching through all of the shared links on Facebook, developers are limited to viewing those links that users have posted through their application. Facebook still has a long way to go though. For the time being, statuses appear to be the most open feature. There are plenty of features now available though for people to build robust applications built on statuses.
Will this “more open” Facebook platform result in a new wave of applications? Probably, but I think there are still a lot of things that need to opened on the platform. My guess is that we’ll see a large number of status feed applications build and while other apps will be built, any Twitter-like applications will receive the most amount of buzz.
There are a lot more opportunities to develop interesting applications with access to new forms of content on the Facebook platform. While Facebook hasn’t completely opened up access to the limitless amount of content passing through the Facebook platform, tonight’s changes were a huge step in the right direction.
The largest change is the open status API which is something that I began calling for a little over one month ago. If you build any interesting applications using the new Facebook API features please reach out to us and let us know so we can post about it!