Saturday, February 07, 2009

Facebook Opens Status API

Mark ZuckerbergImage by jdlasica via Flickr

Facebook have announced that they are launching several new APIs for Facebook Platform. They are to allow applications direct access to user status, links and notes and in doing so this means that the site directly competes with Twitter. As Nick O'Neil from All Facebook states 'This is a huge update and one that I think is going to take Facebook to the next level' and I agree as this does have potential. More details are available on the Facebook Developer blog -
Specifically, your applications can now directly access all of a user's status, links, and notes via new methods and FQL calls. Your application will have access to any status, notes, or links from the active user or their friends that are currently visible to the active user. In addition, we're opening new APIs for you to post links, create notes, or upload videos for the current user, and we've made setting a user's status easier. [Source]
I am really excited about this development and I can't wait to interact with friends via third-party applications. Personally I would like to see a Facebook equivalent of TweetDeck and I'm sure developers will take advantage of the Facebook Platform API and provide some really innovative applications and mashups.
For example, a travel application could make it really easy for users to create and share notes and upload photos and videos from a recent trip. Users could then display that content within a profile tab for that app. Or a news website could use Facebook Connect to allow users to easily post links from the site and feature all of the most recent links that a user's friends have shared from that website. [Source]
The blogosphere appears divided on whether this will lead to Facebook 'killing off' Twitter. There is no doubt that this is a big development for Facebook and the real-time web but I don't expect we will see the end of Twitter. What we are seeing though is that status updates have emerged as the ultimate social gesture. As Fred Wilson states -
I believe Facebook's recognition of status as the most important and most powerful social gesture seals the deal. Status is where it's at in social networking. This is very good for Twitter and its also very good for the other social nets who recognize this and move quickly to provide status updating features and open them up to the social web. [Source]
What's interesting is that Facebook are constantly evolving to adopt popular trends across the Internet. Those who actively follow my blog will know that I wrote last year about the profile redesign and how a lot of the features compared to Friendfeed. Twitter is arguably the most talked about service available with mainstream media discussing it regularly now. Mark Zuckerberg is an intelligent entrepreneur who is able to evaluate trends and address them. This is why Facebook is where it is today and why the real time web just got a lot more interesting!

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