Twitter Launches Facebook Connect Competitor, @Anywhere – Stay N Alive

Twitter Launches Facebook Connect Competitor, @Anywhere

I’ve long talked about the MVC model of the Building Block web.  Data Repositories like Amazon Simple Storage, Facebook Data Store, Google Data, and others comprise the Model of this new platform.  APIs like the Twitter API, the Facebook server-side APIs, or other REST-type APIs compose the Controllers of this web.  Then you have the View – something pretty much only Facebook and OpenSocial/Google Friend Connect have covered thus far.  The View enables developers to easily integrate and access code from a user’s Client, the web browser.  Today Twitter added their entry to that game, @Anywhere.

@Anywhere strives to provide a solution for a huge weakness in the Twitter API Platform thus far.  It provides an entire Javascript, Client-side platform for developers and website owners to integrate Twitter easily and simply right on top of their website, no server-side code involved.  This is the missing link Twitter has needed to have a truly competitive solution against Facebook’s Connect platform.

Facebook Connect relies on Javascript to provide an immersive experience into the Facebook environment right on top of any website owner’s site.  With a few lines of Javascript, and an HTML-like tag language called XFBML, website owners can pretty much copy and paste pieces of code in place and immediately have access to comments, become a fan boxes, post to their stream, and even more if you know a little Javascript as well.  It’s unclear if Twitter will be releasing an XFBML competitor (I’d love to help Twitter test if this becomes the case – I wrote the book on Facebook’s FBML), but Twitter is clearly going up against Facebook Connect to provide similar type tools, and I think it’s a very smart move.

I mentioned earlier I was excited about the entry of Josh Elman as product manager at Twitter.  I’m unclear if he had anything to do with this, but you can clearly see the Facebook influence in Twitter’s new API.  With not only Josh, but several others from the Facebook team now working at Twitter, you can bet they’ve compared and contrasted how they could obtain some of the millions of Facebook developers out there.  Making it as easy as possible is the smartest way to do this, and Twitter has already signed on several very big players in the Facebook Connect space, Huffington Post and Yahoo, to be launch partners in this effort.

In addition to those, the most significant partner that I think should not be ignored is Amazon.  Amazon, IMO, is the holy grail in Social E-Commerce, and despite not having a Facebook Connect solution, they seem willing to integrate Twitter into their environment.  Why they are choosing Twitter over Facebook is beyond me – maybe they have a Facebook deal in the works as well?

I’m very excited about this new announcement.  Soon, it will be easy for any developer to very seamlessly, in a single, well-understood language (Javascript), integrate Facebook and Twitter all on a single website with little effort.  As a developer, I’m drooling a bit over this.  I can’t wait to start playing with it.

10 thoughts on “Twitter Launches Facebook Connect Competitor, @Anywhere

  1. Hmm, so twitter adds to their APi and it's big news, everybody's happy. Google releases buzz using actual standards and it's a week full of drama …

  2. Twitter is actually innovating, which is why it's news. Most people don't
    care about standards – only the geeks care about standards. (me being one of
    them, but that's besides the point)

  3. Competitor to FB Connect? I never thought about @anywhere that way. I figured it would actually be more involved and seamless, but it's possible I just haven't seen a decent implementation of FB Connect anywhere. 🙂

  4. Hi,

    I like the fact that twitter is keeping up with facebook. I hope to see other social media such as digg, mixx, reddit, etc. to provide comparable service, widget, and feature. I have nothing against facebook. I like it and use it heavily to connect to my all my friends. I am just concern that FB will be the next Microsoft of Social Media. That will be a scary scenario that bring nightmares to everyone.

  5. Zainul, other social networks are doing similar things. Myspace, Bebo,
    Orkut, Hi5, iGoogle, Wave, and a dozen other sites are all utilizing
    OpenSocial, which is a similar technology. In addition, Google has created
    Friend Connect, which also works in a similar manner. Facebook and Twitter
    are definitely not the only ones providing such technology.

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