Facebook is going to be offering numerous additions to its developer platform in the coming weeks. First there were the rumors, then the generic confirmation: Facebook’s developer platform will go (mostly) open source. CNET reports today on Facebook’s reasoning behind this decision:
The reason for going open-source, Facebook said, is that developers requested it. And it’s to Facebook’s advantage to listen, especially now that developers have an alternative to the Facebook Platform in the fully open-source OpenSocial.
“In helping developers better understand Facebook Platform, build tools, and share their findings, we strengthen the ecosystem as a whole and help developers build better applications,” the release read. “That translates into a richer experience for Facebook users.”
Now do you think there’s any connection between this and Facebook pulling out of Google Connect?
In addition to going open source, Facebook is also adding analytics and metrics for app owners/developers (via). Among the covered and aggregated stats: number of active users with an application in the last week, total number of canvas page views, number of people adding at the various integration points for an application and who has subscribed to email or bookmarked an application.
The announcement on metrics for developers also came with news for users: soon users will be able to “sample” applications before adding them and letting these applications access their information. To keep an application, users will have to reconfirm their choice to use the application.
Finally, CNET also spoke with Facebook about the elephant in the social networking room: monetization. Facebook’s Director of Monetization, Tim Kendall, spoke in generic terms about the site’s plans to monetize the new Facebook Connect data portability announcement. However, the meaning behind Kendall’s comments in an IAB conference wasn’t quite as revolutionary as CNET hoped:
It would’ve been cool: Facebook director of monetization Tim Kendall hinted on Monday that the company would offer “a product” to help third-party companies “accelerate” participation in its Facebook Connect data portability project. Since no further detail was provided, this reporter inferred that he’d meant something involving development assistance.
But the “product” will just involve encouraging them to promote their participation through Facebook Ads, Kendall confirmed to CNET News.com later. That’s something that Facebook has offered since November, and it currently encourages developers to purchase ads to spread the word about marketing campaigns on Facebook’s developer platform.
Looks like there’s still a long way to go for developers and Facebook itself to make real money.