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Facebook opens doors to public May 27, 2007

Posted by Joanne KY Teoh in Trends.

Facebook, the social-networking site college kids spend so much time on, plans to hook up with the world to make itself a platform for new businesses. By making its two major assets – 24-million-user base, and strong technology underpinnings – available to all comers, Facebook wants to be the place users can involve friends in everything they do online.

Facebook is calling on thousands of technology companies and programmers to contribute features to its service. These outside companies would build the applications for the Facebook Web site, and will be able to generate revenue from those services by showing ads or selling goods and services within special pages in the site

Facebook’s 23-year-old CEO, Mark Zuckerberg this week told journalists and industry leaders in San Francisco that Facebook would no longer be just another social-networking site. The company unveiled Facebook Platform which has more than 65 developer partners and 85 applications. He invited developers to build the next generation of applications with deep integration into Facebook, distribution across its “social graph” and an opportunity to build new businesses.

An example application is Video, which allows users to share personal videos within Facebook, as well as create and send video messages directly to and from the Facebook Inbox, according to the company. Moreover, to allow users to better share the increasing amount of video being shot from mobile devices, Video supports mobile uploading of video directly into the application.

Until now, social networks have been closed platforms. Today, we’re going to end that. With this evolution of Facebook Platform, any developer worldwide can build full social applications on top of the social graph, inside of Facebook.

Mark Zuckerberg, CEO Facebook

By opening the site up to programmers and creating a platform for new technologies, Facebook is offering the opportunity for any company, Internet service, or software maker to build services for its members. The major change in strategy is aimed at transforming Facebook’s role in the Internet ecosystem and could create a raft of new opportunities for companies of all sizes.


Facebook also unveiled a new markup language, Facebook Markup. It allows developers to build applications fully integrated into the site and includes features, such as dynamic information tags, conditional privacy tags, image caching and Flash. Developers can build anything they want in full, unlimited application pages on Facebook, called the “canvas pages.”

Applications also can have a box in users’ profiles and navigation. They will gain distribution through what Zuckerberg called the “social graph,” or the network of real connections through which people communicate and share information.

The social graph is changing the way the world works. We are at a time in history when more information is available and people are more connected than they ever have been before, and the social graph is at the center of that.

Mark Zuckerberg, CEO FAcebook

Facebook and all social networks have two core elements: the social graph and the applications that run on it. Because of the efficient spreading of information through the social graph, existing Facebook applications, such as Photos, have grown to be leaders in their categories.



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