We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
80,259 News Articles

Facebook takes on Google with licensing scheme

Bebo signs up to Facebook's developer plan

Facebook plans to allow other social networks to license its technology so that Facebook applications can run on those sites, a move that mimics Google's strategy for its OpenSocial project.

A day earlier, Bebo, a social network that rivals MySpace and Facebook in terms of popularity in the UK, announced that it will be the first social network to license Facebook's standards so that developers can extend Facebook's applications to Bebo.

Facebook was noticeably absent among the companies that signed on in early November to Google's OpenSocial project aimed at providing developers with APIs to create applications that would work on multiple social networks. Facebook opened its APIs to developers in August 2006 to allow developers to build Facebook applications.

With this announcement, developers can write an application once that will then be able to run on other social-networking sites that have licensed Facebook's APIs.

"At Facebook, we've always recognised that social context is an essential part of providing a great experience for our users, and we've wanted our users to have the best social experience whether they were on our site or off," the company noted on Thursday on its developers blog. "Of course, Facebook Platform will continue to evolve, but by enabling other social sites to use what we've learned, everyone wins - users get a better experience around the web, developers get access to new audiences and social sites get more applications.

Nick O'Neill, who blogs about Facebook at AllFacebook, noted that Facebook is aiming to standardise the social networking platforms across the web so that they can be integrated in the future. "If other social networks adopt the Facebook platform, it will be a massive blow to Google. So who will the competition decide to partner with: Google or Facebook?"

Blogger Richard McManus noted that while Bebo has also committed to use Google's OpenSocial, the move to use Facebook's APIs marks a win for the latter over Google, whose "OpenSocial is looking increasingly like a marketing ploy with little substance. That may change as we learn more about how OpenSocial is being deployed by the likes of MySpace. But thus far, Facebook continues to ramp up its developer platform - and Bebo's support is a big win for them."

Related articles:

Analysis: Facebook versus MySpace


IDG UK Sites

Nexus 6 vs Samsung Galaxy Note 4 comparison: What's the best Android phablet?

IDG UK Sites

The iPhone is doomed. Doomed to be marginally less successful than a very successful thing.

IDG UK Sites

How to prototype native mobile apps without writing code

IDG UK Sites

How to prepare for and update to OS X Yosemite: Get your Mac ready to download & install Apple's...