So, Facebook have opened up their site to allow third parties to do stuff, namely put stuff on consenting users’ profiles, stick items in the feed, and embed an interface to a third-party site inside Facebook. I eagerly await:
- The first Facebook group filled with people protesting this change.
- My first goatse on Facebook (q.v. d1rtyf1lthy vs beckyzoole in their new production of Asshat vs Lolcow)
I’m quite faint with excitement.
But srsly, this is an interesting ploy for world domination by Facebook. Why bother starting your new knitting, kitten appreciation or dating site if you can start one within Facebook and make use of (I’m fighting the urge to use the word “leverage” here, Dawkins help me) their existing users? You do need somewhere to host your application, which might mean big hosting bills if it became popular, but if you’re not writing something which needs lots of state available on the network, it looks like you could also do interesting things from the user’s desktop, or even from their browser with things like Greasemonkey scripts or browser add-ons.
Personally, I’m interested in online CDC Top Trumps. A port of that 100 Million Spiders thing looks like a win, too: it’d be funny, and some I noticed that some members of Facebook are already complaining that they can’t put “Alice is in a dom-sub poly pirate-ninja conglomerate with Bob and Eve” on their profile using Facebook’s existing relationship options (they’re complaining by forming a Facebook group, naturally).
Finally, CNN’s in-depth report on the changes solves the mystery of what Facebook’s “poke” function is for. Apparently It even still has a feature which enables you to “poke” another member – something most people interpret to mean a sexual come-on. So now you know. Lord knows how you interpret the sort of poke war that lots of Facebook users get into.