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Not very long ago, social networking site Facebook rejected Yahoo’s rumored $1 billion takeover bid. Now Facebook’s 23 year-old CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s vision seems more clear.
zuckerberg.pngFacebook today announced changes that could turn it into a content portal on the scale of Yahoo or Google, and create a myriad of opportunities for companies large and small. Zuckerberg said that more than 65 developer partners, including Amazon, have already created software applications on the Facebook Platform.
Zuckerberg announced this afternoon that Facebook is becoming a technology platform on which anyone can build applications for social computing. it aims to be the place where you can involve your friends in everything you do online. The projected business model is advertising, which has appeal because of the huge numbers of members and the high level of activity and interest..
“The short version,” David Kirkpatrick of Fortune explains, “is that Facebook is taking its two major assets – its 24-million-members (growing at about 150,000 per day) and its strong technology underpinnings – and making them available to all comers.”
Interestingly, the Facebook News Feed that was loudly protested when it was introduced last year to let members’ friends always know what they were doing, is now almost universally used by its members. In fact, having your friends know what you’re doing at all times is the basis of Twitter, Jaiku and several other new sites.
Zuckerberg says the News Feed is a key foundation that had to be in place before launching the new platform strategy. Now Facebook will offer applications partners a platform, and members a tool, to to let each other know which applications they are installing and using. “So not only is it offering those who write new applications a platform,” he says, “but also a distribution method.” Zuckerberg, by the way, would have graduated Harvard this year if he hadn’t dropped out to start Facebook.
Do you think the founders of YouTube and MySpace are wondering what would have happened if they hadn’t jumped the broom with Google and Rupert Murdoch so fast?
Widget programmers should soon be dancing in the streets at the opportunities that have now been presented to them.