Facebook is NOT that open

Dave Winer and Michael Arrington are making a big deal today about Facebook RSS feeds for friends’ status updates and posted items. While it’s true that these features are a step in the open direction, let’s all remember Facebook is really not very open.

For example Facebook does NOT provide feeds for many core features, including:

  1. My News Feed
  2. Friends’ Mini Feeds
  3. Friends’ Profile Updates
  4. Friends’ Updated Photos
  5. Groups Updates
  6. Events Updates

Additionally, Facebook does NOT provide export functions for data I have stored there:

  1. Friends/Contact List
  2. Photo Albums

So yes, while there are some open functions (particularly the Twitter-esque friends’ status updates feed), most data is still stuck in Facebook.

Update: Facebook’s Ari Steinberg points out in the comments that 1) a friends’ notes feed is also published, and 2) events are actually exportable. Thanks for the corrections, Ari!

So, a summary of Facebook’s “open” features:

  1. Friends’ Status Updates RSS
  2. Friends’ Notes RSS
  3. Friends’ Shared Items RSS
  4. Events Calendar Exporting
  5. My Notifications


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