Facebook said Monday it will open its streaming data to third party developers.
In a blog post, Facebook outlined the plans (also see documentation). The Facebook Open Stream API will allow developers to incorporate the user data on Facebook in other applications. Users can choose whether their data is shared. To see an example of how this works check out the Seesmic Desktop, which is now an application for the Facebook stream.
To enable developers to access the stream, we've built the Facebook Open Stream API to include the emerging Activity Streams standard. Over the last several months, we've been collaborating with the community, hosting meetups at Facebook headquarters, and speaking at industry events about Activity Streams and the open stack. We think that working alongside our peers to create an open standard for accessing and consuming streams is the future. We'll continue to make contributions to the standards community and related technologies and are happy to be one of the first companies to implement Activity Streams at scale.
In addition to the Activity Streams interface, the Open Stream API includes robust new APIs called stream.get and stream.publish and new FQL tables that enable you to directly access the stream. With these new methods, you can access the stream on behalf of a user and then filter, remix, and display the stream back to that user however you choose, wherever you choose, in the manner most relevant for the user experience. Other new API methods will allow users to both publish into the stream and to add comments and "likes" to posts in the stream.