[Newsfactor] Facebook may be strong, but smaller Twitter has it worried. So Facebook has launched the Open Stream API, tools to read users' newsfeeds and publish them to other locations. Facebook plans to release its own desktop reader. Facebook's Justin Bishop said published feeds will retain the same privacy settings as on Facebook.
The social-networking site Facebook has a lot going for it: A staggering 200 million users, an enormous media profile, and a steadily increasing advertising base. But the company is clearly worried about the new social-networking sites on the block -- most notably Twitter, which lags far behind in subscribers but has been basking in a sudden wave of celebrity buzz, thanks to high-profile tweeters like Oprah Winfrey and Ashton Kutcher.
It's not terribly surprising, then, that Facebook announced Monday the launch of the Open Stream API, a set of tools to allow third-party developers to create applications that read the content of a user's Facebook newsfeed and publish to it. The company hopes to spark a wave of software innovation that will keep the service fresh and dynamic.
One Fountain, Many Streams
According to Facebook engineer Justin Bishop, the goal of the new API is to give users the ability to see their Facebook stream -- including updates, photos, comments, etc. -- in a wide variety of new locations.
"Now, you'll be able to view your stream and publish information into it from places you never could before -- like your desktop computer or your mobile phone," Bishop said. "We believe that the ability to see more and more of what is happening around you will lead to greater openness and transparency."
Facebook Opens User Newsfeeds To Other Locations