Monday, April 27, 2009

Facebook Opens Data To Developers

Rumors and ruminations surrounding a planned opening of Facebook to developers were given some credibility this morning as the Wall Street Journal reported an announcement would be made later today.

The crux of the anticipated announcement will be a Twitter-like opening of Facebook data to developers, allowing direct interfaces through third party websites, programs, and anything else that lives in the digital space. The move comes in lock-step with an announcement of the new Facebook Principles and Statement of Rights released last Friday, in which users were able to vote to enact the documents.

An unverified source tells us that no data will be shared without a user giving explicit permission, though the mechanism by which this permission is given has not been disclosed. One would expect an interface similar to Facebook Connect or Applications within the site itself.

Past Facebook attempts at opening user data have ended in privacy advocate outrage. Stay tuned for more coverage as the story unfolds.


Facebook has made the official announcement:

Using the Open Stream API:

The stream is the flow of information on Facebook, which manifests itself on a user's home page as the News Feed and on the user's profile as the Wall. It represents the content a user shares with friends in a real-time setting. Initially the stream content appeared only on Facebook, and now with the Open Stream API, developers can connect to their users' streams and let their users read their streams wherever they want. This means that for the first time, you can build new user interfaces for the stream everywhere including Web, mobile, and desktop applications.

The stream API allows for reading and creating content. Thus, your applications can get users' stories, comments, and likes, and incorporate this data into your user experience. In addition, your applications can create content directly in your users' streams, and allow for the posting of comments and likes. Think of the stream API as having your own Publisher embedded in your application.

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