Will Facebook Lose Steam?

I was reading Fred Wilson’s post about how Facebook is not an open platform and may never be. He is right and the race is on to see who can most effectively create an open platform that can aggregate all of an individual’s public facing information. It’s the identity debate that has been raging for the past two years but has gained traction when Facebook opened up their platform. While we still have a long way to go, Fred Wilson points out that once the Techcrunch 50,000 find an open platform that they can control, they may leave Facebook. That’s great but the true Facebook demographic doesn’t seem to care. So where is this going? Ultimately, most leading social networks are going to have to create open platforms. Open platforms are the new API of social networks. Developers are going to have to learn how to write for the Facebook, MySpace and LinkedIn platforms. Wherever people are, that’s where programmers go. It’s as simple as that. If you have a user base of more than 15 million people and open up your platform, people will develop for it as long as they have unfiltered (or close to unfiltered) access to user information. Will Facebook lose steam when all these other platforms open? They will most certainly lose developer power when the other social networks open their platform (MySpace especially), but they will still continue to grow their user base. Facebook is going to have to provide new features for developers (a payment system, etc) if they plan on keeping them around. Do you think developers will go running when Myspace opens their platform?