Categorized | social marketing

Facebook just became the hostess with the mostest

Facebook just announced that it’s opening up its “stream” API to developers. For the proud non-geeks among us, I have a handy-dandy explanation of APIs and why they matter right here in this little green acre of blog posts.

This is a mighty big deal folks. Not only is the Facebook “stream” a direct competitor for Twitter — and, in this writer’s opinion, much better as a microblogging service — it offers an unprecedented opportunity for developers to start marrying software, including business software, to the stream and all the places it ends up.

Let me give you an example. Suppose you’re currently running a project management system like dotProject (an open-source PM system). Now, suppose some clever programming pro out there in programming land integrates all the update, alert, and message functions of dotProject with the Facebook stream. Your Facebook home page now has all your project information in real time — and, according to permissions, so does the Facebook page of all the folks working on your project from India to Indiana.

Who cares? Well, suppose another developer integrates your Facebook stream with a desktop application, say, one built up from Adobe AIR, which, using simple scripting languages such as ActionScript and Flex, allows developers to build desktop applications. So now you have a little window that alerts you to project changes (including passing deadlines).

Now another developer comes along and develops an iPhone or Blackberry app that allows you to choose any Facebook stream data and send it to your iPhone or Blackberry. Voila! Your dotProject updates, alerts, and communications are delivered to your iPhone in real time. And everyone else on the project gets updates and alerts bouncing into their Blackberries in real time.

Think of all the group-based business software you’d like to have integrated with your iPhone or Blackberry, and you can probably guess why this news is so big.

Way back when Google first appeared on the horizon, I would say to people, “This is going to take over the world.” Well, you heard it hear first, folks: the Facebook “stream” is going to take over the world.

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