Breaking: Facebook to Compete With OpenSocial

By Nick O'Neill Comment

Ami Vora has just posted about Facebook opening up their platform. This is huge! Here’s the release:

At Facebook, we’ve always recognized that social context is an essential part of providing a great experience for our users, and we’ve wanted our users to have the best social experience whether they were on our site or off. That’s why, back in August 2006, we released the Facebook Platform API — with that release, developers could incorporate the data users chose to share into their own sites or applications to give users a more social experience no matter where they were. With the launch of the most recent version of Facebook Platform in May 2007, we also opened up the Facebook website itself.

We’ve seen a great response from both our developers and our users, and we’ve certainly learned a lot as we’ve worked on our platform over the past year and a half.

Now we also want to share the benefits of our work by enabling other social sites to use our platform architecture as a model. In fact, we’ll even license the Facebook Platform methods and tags to other platforms. Of course, Facebook Platform will continue to evolve, but by enabling other social sites to use what we’ve learned, everyone wins — users get a better experience around the web, developers get access to new audiences, and social sites get more applications.

This is just another step toward the vision of easy, open sharing of information. We look forward to supporting other social sites as they release their own platforms, and look forward most of all to the added benefit for developers and users.

You can find more information at http://wiki.developers.facebook.com/index.php/PlatformArchitecture and additional technical details at http://wiki.developers.facebook.com/index.php/FBMLspec.

There had been a lot of of speculation about Facebook joining OpenSocial once the platform had stabilized. It looks like other social networks are going to be able to leverage the power of the Facebook platform. There is no word on whether or not the other social networks will be able to leverage the power of the Facebook social graph but if Facebook opens up the social graph, this will be the biggest thing ever and Facebook will indeed become the dominant player in social networking.

The main point of this move by Facebook is to standardize the social networking platforms across the web so that there will be simple future integration among the platforms. This step is not an opening of the social graph …. yet. Will Facebook be able to convince other social networks to use tags like “” and other FBML tags. I’m a bit skeptical that Facebook will be able to pull this off. If other social networks adopt the Facebook platform it will be a massive blow to Google. So who will the competition decide to partner with: Google or Facebook?

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