Two Common Mis-representation of the Facebook Platform

There has been a lot of noise around the Facebook platform in the last 6 hours. We had the opportunity to kick the facebook tires as part of the feeddo+facebook integration. I would like to address three common misrepresentation people might have regarding the facebook platform (especially given that in this case, it comes from Om, one of the bloggers I respect the most).

Mis-representation #1: Facebook is closed.

Facebook is not closed. They expose a rich set of API allowing thirds party applications to query, read and write the social graph. Any kind of third party application! web/Javascript application, desktop applications, server-based applications. I think that what people mean is that the API exposed by facebook are specific to facebook and not inter-operable with other back-ends (ie this is a problem for the developers building social applications not a problem for the end user).

Mis-representation #2: If you are building for facebook, you are stuck with FBML (as if it was a bad thing)

This is actually an area where facebook is very advanced. The reason why they require developers to use FBML and push for integration with the profile page, it that is allows for a more a more secure and faster user experience. More secure because it allows scripts coming from multiple origins to run in concert on a single page (which we all know is a hard and important problem). Faster because a) all the content is cached and b) the widgets are forced to play nice during load time (one widget can not start using resources before the user starts interacting with it). Those are all very nice and advanced feature. To my knowledge, the only social network which has this level of sophistication is Ning.

Said that competition is always good. It is going to force facebook to stay on their toes, continue to innovate by added new services and more importantly continue to remain open!

Author: @feedly

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