So Facebook has announced that they’re opening up part of their platform and making it open source. It’s certainly a reaction to Google’s recent success with OpenSocial, and should make it easier for developers to add applications to the Facebook platform.
That said, I’ve always had mixed feeling about Facebook, particularly in terms of their ability to play in the whole Web 2.0/platform-as-a-service arena, and I completely agree with my blogger-in-crime that companies such as Cisco are the real wildcards in the Web 2.0 world. I also agree that Facebook, while infinitely better than MySpace in terms of its user interface, needs to clean up its UI
Facebook has real potential in terms of expanding its reach as a social networking application and as a platform and/or tool that businesses can use, leveraging all the tidbits of important data stored within. Luring Sheryl Sandberg away from Google in March was a step in the right direction. Making part of its platform open source is another, and should allow what amounts to a small army of developers, both business and private, to expand and improve upon the capabilities and limits of what Facebook currently has to offer.