It’s Official, Facebook Releases Their Platform, Open Source and All

Nick O’Neill blogged about it, and Facebook confirmed it officially at the Palo Alto 1 Year Anniversary Developers Garage on Thursday, but Facebook has finally released their platform under a modified version of the Mozilla Public License. The code and announcement can be found here, and includes the full API, a parser for FBML, and more. I will probably be trying to sneak in a little info about this in FBML Essentials if I can beat it to press.

What does this mean for you? Well, first of all, there is a good chance (I have not confirmed this) you’ll now see sites like Myspace and LinkedIn also join sites like Bebo in providing a Facebook-style API. It should be an easy decision for them. This also means you are not stuck porting your Apps over to OpenSocial to get them on those networks, assuming they implement this into their own architecture. Ideally, it will take very few changes to port a Facebook App over to other FbPlatform-enabled sites.

Also, if you are building your own social network, you can now cater to all the Facebook developers out there and bring in the rich API Facebook provides. OpenSocial is great, but you do have to keep in mind it is still in beta – while new, I see no “beta” put in front of this new Facebook Open Platform.

The other thing you should take into account is that because it is Open Source, you can now contribute back to the platform. If you see something in the platform that is strongly needed, you simply have to sign the Contribution Agreement they provide and if they implement your change they’ll even send you a (drum roll please) T-Shirt! (they didn’t say if the T-Shirt was free or not) In reality though, we as developers now have some responsibility to give back to Facebook – that is the essence of Open Source.

I think Facebook just played their cards for Google on this one. Their environment is still closed, but at the very least they are sharing the components that make their closed environment so the world too can get involved. Google now has much stronger pressure to get OpenSocial in order, and in a way that convinces the Facebook platform developers to use OpenSocial instead of the Facebook Open Platform. It’s a race for developers, and I’m afraid Facebook just made the choice for developers to leap to OpenSocial a lot harder.

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jessestay

Jesse Stay has been a pioneer in the space of social media marketing since before it was called "social media marketing". Originally a software developer, Jesse built a tool called SocialToo.com which helped brands like Pepsi, Brittany Spears, and MC Hammer grow their social media presence, and before he knew it brands were coming to him for help to grow their presence in very unique ways. His tool was featured on almost every tech blog and even mainstream news sites like New York Times, Techcrunch, and Mashable. Jesse also spent a brief period working FOR Facebook, Inc., helping them to build out their documentation to help companies integrate Facebook Connect into their websites and mobile apps. Jesse took his skills and helped the LDS Church kick off most of its social media programs. While there he helped launch the award-winning "I'm a Mormon" marketing campaign with global reach worldwide in the millions of views and followers. Jesse established new global programs at the Church to further grow its reach amongst both members and non-members of the Church, working with every department of the Church, also including entities like the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Brigham Young University. He also helped the Church navigate its voice and presence during the Mitt Romney Presidential campaign due to the significant attention the Church was getting at the time. He established the social media advertising techniques and strategies employed at Deseret Digital Media growing over 20 million fans across their news properties in just 6 months, and was featured on AdWeek for his success. As founder and Principal of Stay N Alive, Jesse has developed very unique techniques in social media advertising to help organizations grow presences, within months on minimal budgets, into hundreds of thousands of highly relevant and engaging fans and followers. He designed and teaches social media advertising at LDS Business College. He has helped grow sales, and has a belief that yes, you CAN measure social! Jesse has been featured as one of 10 entrepreneurs to follow on Twitter (next to Biz Stone and Ev Williams, founders of Twitter) by Entrepreneur magazine. Jesse has written 9 books on the topic of social media marketing and development, including Google+ Marketing For Dummies and Facebook All In One For Dummies, and eats, lives, and drinks social media with a personal combined presence of over 600,000 followers on his personal social profiles.

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