Facebook opens platform to other social networks

Online social network site Facebook has opened up its developer platform to other social networking sites, with rival site Bebo the first major rival to implement the platform. The move comes in response to criticism that developers wouldn't create applications for Facebook because the website is too "closed" to be an effective market, and sets up a potential clash between Facebook's now open platform and OpenSocial, the open development platform initiative Google Inc. launched in November. Facebook senior platform manager Ami Vora first posted the news in a blog entry on Wednesday.

"(We) want to share the benefits of our work by enabling other social sites to use our platform architecture as a model," he wrote. "In fact, we'll even license the Facebook platform methods and tags to other platforms." Facebook has been steadily growing in popularity since the site became available to all users in 2006, and now ranks as one of the most popular sites on the web. The site claims it has more than 58 million active members, more than seven million of them in Canada. Part of what has spurred the growth was the site's decision earlier to open its platform to developers so they could create unique programs for the site, programs that allow users to share messages, quizzes, photos, or other media.

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