Tom Anderson has 179,564,767 MySpace friends, and I can see them all via his open profile at the number one (by far) social nework (or social utility, as Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg insists) that Anderson co-founded and later sold to News Corp.
What about Facebook founder, and still owner, Zuckerberg?
Can I get to know him at Facebook? NO. Can I see his "face," can I be introduced to his friends at Facebook? NO. How many Facebook friends does Zuckerberg have? Not the 179 million Anderson boasts!
Why does it matter? Because "opening up" to become a third-party application platform does not actually open up a closed Web-based application, contrary to popular perception.
Via a Google search for "Mark Zuckerberg Facebook profile," Zuckerberg, himself, was nowhere to be found.
Not only does MySpace dwarf Facebook in actual numbers of registered users, MySpace benefits, big time, from the old media notion of "pass along" audience.
Any one, at any time, can browse MySpace profile pages to their hearts content, and all the while deliver more page views and ad impressions to the MySpace bottom line.
Facebook, however, is not an open platform like MySpace, it is slammed tightly shut; No one can see any Facebook page without "registering" with an email address.
Developers may now have "privileged" access to the much smaller than MySpace Facebooker communty, but non-Facebookers continue to be blocked from Facebook.
BUT, that is a good thing, the Facebook faithfull will counter, echoing the Facebook company line that Facebook is all about "trusted connections," as opposed to the anything goes wild wild MySpace west.
I have underscored, however, that Facebook WAS a safe haven for "trusted connections," once upon its .edu required founding time.
As Zuckerberg's corporate ambitions grow, however, his concern for real "trusted connections," diminishes. After all, Facebook proudly declares now that "anyone can join Facebook, all that's needed to join Facebook is a valid email address. "
Can a "valid" Hotmail address really guarantee "trusted connections."
NO, as I reported yesterday in Who needs Facebook? Students fight back.