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Facebook on Deck – if Not at Bat – in Platforms May 25, 2007

Posted by David Card in Media.

Let’s see, the NY Times headline reads “Facebook Expands into MySpace Territory,” while TechCrunch says “Facebook Launches Facebook Platform; They are the Anti-MySpace.” TechCrunch is more correct.

In case you hadn’t noticed, MySpace has moved out of “MySpace territory” into Yahoo territory, folks. But Facebook’s architecture — and core vision — is way more suited to exploit the connections inherent in a real social network. MySpace is held together with rubber bands and duct tape, and doesn’t actually have a hard-wired network — Everybody Is in Your Extended Network!

But, who cares? That hasn’t stopped MySpace. It thrives on the nearly anarchic DIY ethos. Yeah, it’s screwed up a few times, but it’s recovered.

Facebook builds a potentially much more powerful communications infrastructure. And now it’s letting developers tap into it. Lots of question marks about just how well you can use that network and still allow users to control their privacy. I believe Facebook will err on the side of its users (it’s learned its lessons), but what will that mean for developers?

And one thing Google has taught us — even Microsoft — about the platform business, is that you’ve got to bring a revenue stream along for your ecosystem. Facebook says: “you’ve got the freedom to monetize the way you want.” In other words, “we’re not making enough money to share yet.” I’m sure they will, in time.

We’ll get you more than first thoughts after we’ve sat down with some Facebook execs.

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