I have blogged that Facebook risks being like Netscape – a high flying startup that implodes due to competitive forces. It looks like Facebook is taking a path towards not being like Netscape. Going open is a good move.
Facebook today announced that it is opening up the code to a portion of their F8 platform. This is an extraordinary move for a company trying to compete with the giants of Google and others.
This move is about leverage – Facebook is taking its’ growth and presence and leveraging it by opening up. This is a good move. While Google trys to play the open card – Facebook is actually doing it.
Enabling 3rd party developers has been the standard move for platform companies. Facebook has seen big growth of young developers hungry for the platform. It’s great to see Facebook throwing some “red meat” to developers. What’s next for Facebook? Have a strategy so that developers can make ‘real’ money. That will be a move worth watching.
Lets see how this develops. I can’t wait to see what partsf F8 are open and what parts are closed. I think the Facebook’s value in presence could make them an instant player at the platform level in Unified Communications.
Here is what Facebook said “As a starting point, we’re open-sourcing a significant part of Facebook Platform, including most of the code that runs Facebook Platform plus implementations of many of the most-used methods and tags. This release is just a first step in providing you a look into Facebook Platform, and we hope you’ll help us iterate on and improve it. You can find more information and the Facebook Open Platform downloads on our Facebook Open Source page at http://developers.facebook.com/opensource.php.
Keyword here for Facebook is Leverage!
Matching massive growth with user utility can only be matched with really good applications which can’t be met by Facebook alone.