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« Two more thoughts on Facebook: On Accel, Amazon, and Microsoft | Main | Arrow Cat Not Laffing »

Facebook is Windows, MySpace is DOS

It would be hard for me to say anything that hasn't been said about Facebook's new developer platform.

So, just a few thoughts:

  • If you are any kind of direct to consumer application developer, developing for Facebook needs to become a priority... RIGHT NOW.
  • Facebook Widgets, or whatever you want to call them, work because they add in what most web widgets lack... broadcast.  All that stuff sitting in my sidebar, it isn't any good to anyone if it doesn't get "in the feed"...   Now, what feed, whose feed, where, how, etc...  those are great questions, but the idea of getting in the flow of social data is incredibly important.
  • I wonder if when Facebook came up with the NewsFeed, they realized how important it would be to their application platform.  Just think about it... when I pick up my Twitter app for Facebook, now all my mainstream friends (all the ones who don't know how or where to subscribe to my RSS feed) can see it, grab it, and learn how it works.  Facebook basically integrated RSS into their platform in a social way and now they're using it to fuel the spread and functionality of their apps.  Incredible.

Let's think about a comparison between MySpace and Facebook and how they approached third party  applications in their environment:

  • MySpace allowed you to paste a piece of HTML code onto a page.  That's it.  No hooks into the service.  No way to discover new widgets other than random browsing.  Then, they tied one hand behind the back of their apps by disabling linking through Flash.  On top of that, they made a big stink when others tried to monetize their creations, banned some folks, etc.  There's no developer network.  No notifications.  No nothing.
  • Facebook is encouraging development.  It is giving apps hooks right into Facebook, enabling the pulling of various parts of my profile, and publishing right back into that profile and publishing notifications and various application output to friends.  They even allow publishers of services competitive to Facebook features, like Twitter.  There's a developer site, documentation, rules, etc.   

Guess which one is the future of web based social application development and which one isn't.

I'll give you a hint, the future of app development rightly turned down a billion dollars for their company.

Brilliant.  Anyone know who architected this?  I'm so impressed.  I want to pick that person's brain.

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