Facesoft or Microbook (sorry couldn’t help myself) is about to get a heavy dose of social networking competition from Google according to a great article from TechCrunch.
Facebook’s move to open up the “social network” for application developers was a brilliant move. However, the one niggling and critical complaint from Facebook developers is not having the ability to export or pull data outside of the Facebook platform and into third party applications. Facebook does not want developers to have the ability to pull data outside of Facebook and into third party applications via the APIs.
Another security blanket Facebook has in place currently (as noted in the Zuckerberg – Battelle interview) The Terms of Service put forth by Facebook has a very anti-competitive feel as well. Essentially allowing Facebook to shut down application developers that may cut the head of the beast and compete directly with Facebook.
It has been said in many blog postings Facebook is 98% there. No doubt, but the last 2%, just like the last mile was for broadband is the chink in the FB armor. Google’s plan is a back door approach by taking all the apps and services already in place through iGoogle, Orkut, Gmail, Google Talk and socializing the services. To fuel the fire even more Google is going 100% open with a new set of APIs that will let other social networks like startupaddict.com (if I can ever get version 2.0 launched) interact with google applications. Imagine if the UK site Bebo having the ability to push and pull Bebo/Google data within the Bebo network. My brain actually starts to spin when I think about the privacy and advertising implications of this, but one thing at a time.
TechCrunch has another more specific API article that will shed even more light.