Facebook has just opened central features of its site to developers, creating more ways for user data on the social network to be used within third-party applications and on other web sites. Features include access to status updates (like what Twitter does), notes (a simple blogging tool within Facebook), links to other web sites (formerly known as “posted items”), and Facebook videos.
The status updates feature has already been on display in CNN’s live video stream of President Barack Obama’s inauguration — status updates are intriguing because micro-messaging service Twitter essentially revolves around the same feature. Developers can access Twitter data to do things like aggregate stock picks, through an application programming interface (API). Essentially, Facebook is trying to make status updates — and much more — available to third parties in a similar way, although its not clear how much mixing up of Facebook’s data the company is prepared to allow. Facebook Photos, one of Facebook’s most valuable collections of data, has already been available in some form.
Facebook is also trying to make it easier for developers to put more data back into Facebook — part of the company’s larger plans for making its news feeds a main way for people to share information on the web. Now, third parties can now make features within apps and other sites that let users post links, create notes and upload videos back into the site. Facebook has also made it easier for developers to implement the status updates feature.
Some examples, from the company:
We’re pretty excited to see what kinds of ideas you can come up with to help users create and share more content. 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.