At the moment, if you want to add an application to Facebook you have to go through the rigmarole of making a deal with the site to use your apps elsewhere. According to Techcrunch this is all about to change.
The website has been told by multiple sources that: “Facebook will turn the year-old Facebook Platform into an open source project.”
The Facebook Platform was launched in May 2007 as was heralded as revolutionary. Where sites like MySpace had kept its software scripts close to its chest, not allowing outside application developers in, Facebook embraced the idea that apps should be made by those other than the makers of the site.
This meant that apps like iLike were available to users of the site and became incredibly successful.
The problem was that for every iLike, you had an app that would just clutter up your homepage – something that completely went against Facebook’s clean and tidy image – and be about as much use as a chocolate teapot.
The announcement that Facebook could become completely open source is an interesting one that will bring joy to some app writers who want to share their work with other sites, while others who make money exclusively through the deals they have done with Facebook may feel like the app money pot could get that little bit smaller.
It also puts the site into the firing line for any rival web masters looking to get their mitts on what makes Facebook tick, just to make an unofficial version and try and reap the benefit.
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Marc Chacksfield is the Editor In Chief, Shortlist.com at DC Thomson. He started out life as a movie writer for numerous (now defunct) magazines and soon found himself online - editing a gaggle of gadget sites, including TechRadar, Digital Camera World and Tom's Guide UK. At Shortlist you'll find him mostly writing about movies and tech, so no change there then.