Facebook Wants to Give Away Free Commercial Access to Its Insides – Good Call or Bad?
Facebook has made an astounding announcement this week: in a statement, the company says that it isn’t of primary importance to them that Facebook members actually log in into the website at all once they have signed up for their service; the announcement stated that it was all the same to the company that its members should visit the site for their updates or find the updates at any startup Facebook service at all. What is more, Facebook promises to release a set of developer tools for startup companies to look into Facebook with, to provide you with your Facebook updates and notifications outside of Facebook.
But why would Facebook do this – give away access to the core of its business to other commercial players? For one thing, Facebook believes that it is being overwhelmed by demand for its service; there are so many different kinds of gadgets out there to view content on that to expect one company to provide for all of them seems impractical. Actually, as counterintuitive as this sounds, it’s been done before – by none other than Twitter. That service has allowed third-party programs right from the start, that bring to people the ability to look at Twitter updates from outside of the website.
So how goes the third-party application situation so far? Consider SocialScope, a startup that aims to bring Facebook to your Blackberry. It lets you tap into multiple social networking sites, and is better even than Facebook’s app for that smartphone. Seesmic is another noteworthy service; when you install their software on your desktop, it allows you to use Facebook right from your desktop without going to that website. Seesmic just hopes to return Facebook the favor by basically making the Facebook idea more successful, giving their users convenience.
Facebook and Twitter are not really profitable enterprises yet, even with all their massive popularity. When people find out that they don’t need to actually go to those websites to check their information, won’t the websites lose whatever little chance they have at making a profitable venture of it? Only time will tell how this unconventional idea pans out.