Friday, December 14, 2007

Platform Wars

Although it might seem to be of interest only to technical geeks, something important happened in cyberspace this week.
The news slipped out in a press release and in the Facebook Developers Blog.
"Bebo, the global Social Media Network, today (12.12.07) announced that it has launched its Open Application Platform, opening its API to third party developers to integrate their applications with the Bebo site."
Furthermore
"The Bebo Open Application Platform will be the first in the industry to implement the standards defined by the Facebook Platform, an open development system that enables companies and engineers to extend Facebook's more than 7,000 applications to other social websites."
In plain English, this means that Bebo has opened up its platform to third party developers and at the same time has made it the same as the Facebook platform; which could lead to the Facebook platform becoming the dominant platform while hindering Google's plans for Opensocial.

At a time when Facebook has been struggling to overcome a few problems related to advertising issues this is a clever move.
Facebook are sharing, but by sharing have moved into a position of control.

Here's Facebook's explanation
"Now we also want to share the benefits of our work by enabling other social sites to use our platform architecture as a model. In fact, we’ll even license the Facebook Platform methods and tags to other platforms. Of course, Facebook Platform will continue to evolve, but by enabling other social sites to use what we’ve learned, everyone wins -- users get a better experience around the web, developers get access to new audiences, and social sites get more applications."
Hmm.
How many users does Facebook have?
How many users does Bebo have?

In the developing battle of platforms, there are two contenders, Facebook and Google but Facebook is taking charge.

They both want a share of the action.
They both want to share.
I wonder will they share with one another?

Remember betamax?

1 comment:

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