Sunday, May 27, 2007

Facebook Platform: Good or Evil?

The newly launched Facebook platform hasn't stirred up as much controversy as other features that were launched on Facebook. I am really shocked by this because the interface, at the moment, is a little messy. I will attribute this lack of uproar to the holiday weekend and the fact it is summer. The Facebook Blog didn't have much to say on the topic in their latest post: Facebook Platform is here

The concept behind that new platform is to allow third party sites to embed themselves inside of Facebook, utilizing the massive user base.

Actually, it is more likely to be used as a mashups combining website features. I've already installed the Digg application and now my latest diggs are listed on my profile. Neat concept, but it doesn't appear as if other people have the necessary controls to restrict access. For example, if one of my friends despised Digg, would they be able to completely hide this part of my profile? Even though I think the functionality it there for such a thing, it is not obvious, and this can make users angry.

Another shortcoming is the lack of support for customizing the News Feed. At this point in time I would likely increase the number of stories about the platform, but would quickly grow tired and ease back on it.

One of the users biggest worries who have expressed concern is that Facebook is turning into MySpace. While I don't think this is ever going to happen, my advice to Facebook would be to be careful and not angry your users. With the major changes coming in rapid succession the risk of losing users is greater now than ever before. However, Facebook has the luxury of having a new stream of users every fall when students go to college and discover the addictive qualities that are Facebook.

Overall, I think Facebook has diluted the waters. As of yet, there are not many astounding applications, but hopefully that will change soon. Although I haven't looked at the development process yet, I will try too next time I get enough free time. If it is simple enough I might even take the plunge and try to make an app of my one.

I'll actually tag some friends on Facebook in this post (now that I am importing blog entires again). I'm curious what you all think! Very weird side-note: could Assassins be integrated into Facebook?

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