Sunday, 27 March 2011

Facebook Platform

The Facebook Platform[1] provides a set of APIs and tools which enable 3rd party developers to integrate with the "open graph" — whether through applications on or external websites and devices. Launched on May 24, 2007, Facebook Platform has evolved from enabling development just on to one also supporting integration across the web and devices.

Facebook Platform Statistics as of May 2010:[2]

    * More than one million developers and entrepreneurs from more than 180 countries
    * More than 550,000 active applications currently on Facebook Platform
    * Every month, more than 70% of Facebook users engage with Platform applications
    * More than 250,000 websites have integrated with Facebook Platform
    * More than 100 million Facebook users engage with Facebook on external websites every month

Third party companies provide application metrics, and several blogs have sprung up in response to the clamor for Facebook applications. On July 4, 2007, Altura Ventures announced the "Altura 1 Facebook Investment Fund," becoming the world's first Facebook-only venture capital firm.[3]

On August 29, 2007, Facebook changed the way in which the popularity of applications is measured, to give attention to the more engaging applications, following criticism that ranking applications only by the number of people who had installed the application was giving an advantage to the highly viral, yet useless applications.[4] Tech blog Valleywag has criticized Facebook Applications, labeling them a "cornucopia of uselessness."[5] Others have called for limiting third-party applications so the Facebook "user experience" is not degraded.[6][7]

Primarily attempting to create viral applications is a method that has certainly been employed by numerous Facebook application developers. Stanford University even offered a class in the Fall of 2007, entitled, Computer Science (CS) 377W: "Create Engaging Web Applications Using Metrics and Learning on Facebook". Numerous applications created by the class were highly successful, and ranked amongst the top Facebook applications, with some achieving over 3.5 million users in a month

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