Poll: is Facebook Platform good for the web?

Poll: is Facebook Platform good for the web?

Summary: When Facebook first announced its new 'Platform' whereby third-party companies could built applications and set-up shop within the social networking site, many pronounced its 'openness' as a good thing, since it gives developers access to the site's millions of users. And whilst access to all of those users is something no web startup should dismiss, it did, and still does, make we wonder what impact Facebook Platform will have on the rest of the web?...

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When Facebook first announced its new 'Platform' whereby third-party companies could built applications and set-up shop within the social networking site, many pronounced its 'openness' as a good thing, since it gives developers access to the site's millions of users. And whilst access to all of those users is something no web startup should dismiss, it did, and still does, make we wonder what impact Facebook Platform will have on the rest of the web?

...where does this leave the ’small pieces, loosely joined’ philosophy of the net? If everybody sets up shop in Facebook, keeping all the action inside the social network site, where does that leave the rest of the web?

Over at Read/WriteWeb, Richard MacManus wrote a great post looking at how 'open' Facebook really is, since it using it's own version of web standards, is, by design, a closed network in terms of privacy (you have to join the site, and be authorized to view profiles), and it doesn't support standards to enable users to move their data elsewhere.

Some have gone as far as to call Facebook the new AOL.

So, is Facebook good for the web? Take my poll, but also let's debate this in the comments.

[poll id=6]

Topics: Social Enterprise, Browser

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2 comments
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  • Face Book can not fight the natural flow of internet

    Face Book can not fight the natural flow of internet

    Currently most Social Networking sites create closed silos of user information and content that cannot be easily shared, reused, or redistributed outside of the network. FaceBook is a closed Silo. Myspace is a closed Silo.A Facebook member cannot export their Profile to Myspace. A Myspace member cannot export their profile to FaceBook. This is not because their is no technical way to export member profiles; its because both companies want to lock users into the Myspace and Facebook silos.

    The Facebook "Open" platform is not only a gimmick it is also an Orwellian attempt to hi jack and redefine the term "Open" I think that may "Open" source proponents would agree that "Open" when it refers to software applications at the very least means inter operable. FaceBook is not interpretable. Myspace is not inter operable. From today onwards it is my hope that those reporting on and covering FaceBook will no longer use the term "Open" to describe the FaceBook platform.


    The Data and content that members own cannot be easily exported out, or used with many other existing internet applications. The flow of data and information is one way. The Open platform is in fact open for developers, but closed to the rest of the internet. A one way vacum of application development that can never expand to any users base other than Facebook. FaceBook is a "Closed" platform much the way that Microsoft is a closed Platform. Develop for Microsoft and your application will be dependent on Microsoft technology and will not easily port to any other platfrom. Develop for FaceBook and your application will not work on any other platform. By developing applications for either you have limited the possible amount of networks that can distribute and use your application.



    AOL at one time was also the darling of the internet. A big fat closed platform that attempted to lock in users. While AOL had quit a run; it was only a matter of time before users understood that AOL was not the internet. That there were millions, and millions of other networks to participate in. Once the hole of reality was opened and members realized that they were free to go beyond the AOL wall; the flow of members leaving the silo could not be stopped. It will be the same for FaceBook.

    The arrogance of attempting to redefine and close in that which cannot be defined or captured can only lead to a steady fall and ultimate humiliation.
    darmik
  • Old school thinking

    While not open-source in the true sense of the term I think too much is made of the fact facebook is a "silo". It doesn't stand comparison to AOL because AOL constricted the point of entry - facebook is a destination space not a gateway. If you think of AOL as a residence, facebook is a mall. And what they understood is that a mall without stalls is not a destination.

    Following that analogy, is a mall good for retail? In the first place it obviously has a high volume of captive traffic that stall owners can benefit from. But malls have not stopped consumers from visiting independents for specialist needs. And the same holds true of facebook and the internet.

    Old school thinkers often, surprisingly, seem to forget the fact that other destination on the web are a click, not a train ride, away.

    The real impact of facebook on the internet consumer is that service come to them. Yes, this may create laziness but those that remain in the silo are those that were not adventorous explorers of the internet anyway.

    And the independent creator of new web services (say, a graduate student) gets access to a volume of users that were previously simply not there. That's the important aspect of "open" - rather than "transferable".
    SimonPeters