Facebook Begins to Open

Yesterday, Dave Winer reported that Facebook is beginning to open up. It’s true. It actually started happening two days ago. I started receiving notifications on Monday through my Google desktop news alerts notifying me of my friends’ status updates on Facebook. It was pretty cool in that having those alerts intertwined with other news sources made them more like news. Additionally, I realized that my interest in my friends’ updates was equal to my interest in other news stories that didn’t pertain to my friends. This is pretty darn cool!

While most of the bloggers have been busy twittering (and more recently giving Facebook updates), the Facebook crowd has been giving status updates for a while. Mark Zuckerberg has always referred to news feed items as actual news stories and to be honest I’m starting to agree. You friends’ status updates are like a story headline. That’s where it ends. If you want to know more then send them a message. That’s true interaction. Imagine a Washington Post headline of “Man Robs Bank in Clown Suit.” Directly under that headline it says, “Want to know more? Email one of the witnesses at clown@washingtonpost.com.” While it would be frustrating, it’s interesting in that you can get the whole story from the source. Additionally, that source is an important news topic to you. Two questions: Does this represent interactive news? Is the opening of these two RSS feeds (friend status updates and friend posted items) really that big of a deal for Facebook?