Like many of us, Jeff Pulver has been playing with Facebook recently. He writes:
As more and more software developers integrate their applications with Facebook, Facebook has become that much more valuable…especially when the third-party applications add to the overall end user experience. It might have been a moment of sheer Genius or Madness when the Facebook team decided to open up their APIs, but WOW!. By doing so, Facebook has moved itself up in the ecosystem and is quickly becoming something even bigger than it ever was.
Yup. The game is transformed from "who can build the biggest social network" to "who can build the richest social networking platform". Online services gave way to social networks which are now giving way to the social platform. We've had inklings of this with Marc Andreesen's Ning and Marc Canter's People Aggregator, but the story today is all Facebook. Why? Classic platform strategy dictates that applications pull platforms through. It wasn't until there was significant momentum in Facebook that the strategy could have been executed. The momentum didn't materialize to the same extent around prior efforts.
And like Jeff, I find myself messaging via Facebook more and more often. It's turning me from a Blackberry user into a text messaging user.