Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Facebook Platform is OpenSourced

We all heard Dave Morin at the fb garage last week. Facebook has opened its platform as open source quietly in its own way here.

It is a lisenced under Common Public Attribution License (CPAL), which follows the Mozilla Public License (MPL) with the addition of allowing web services.

What does this mean for the developers?
  • This is facebook's response to Google's opensocial?
  • Facebook has 400K developers while Opensocial has been expanding with an industry wide support with developers trying it but waiting for better than beta quality from Opensocial platform. This move by Facebook deters developers from moving to Opensocial because they can now contribute to the platform and improve it to their own choice.
  • Choice is good and this makes life interesting for developers. myspace is likely to adapt its platform to Facebook style to get fb developers faster.
What does this mean to the Social Media Wars?
  • One subtle point that goes un-noticed in any analysis I've seen so far is that the lisense has been expanded to include Web services. This is the most interesting piece. This is in line with Facebook's promise of Facebook Connect whereby they plan to open up the social graph to allow access from any web service. This is the bigger step in the Social Media war with Facebook Connect being Facebook's response to Google's FriendConnect and everyone comparing Facebook Connect to FriendFeed etc.
Where is Bebo in all this?

Over the weekend I played with Bebo and wanted to understand the comparison with Facebook platform to see if Bay Area Facebook Meetup would like to see a bebo demo about Facebook migration. Interesting enough I connected with my facebook friends on bebo and haven't heard back from anyone who logged back into bebo. Ok Dave McClure is busy with GSP East, what is everyone's excuse?

I wonder what is the impact for Bebo which has the same Facebook platform lisenced which is not opensourced, right after Bebo's aquisition by AOL. Is this another influence on Facebook's decision to opensource the platform?

What do you think as a developer? I'd love to hear your thoughts.

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