Facebook announces software venture

facebookFacebook has announced plans for a major makeover with the intention of becoming a software operating system for various Web 2.0 applications. According to Reuters, the social networking site says it has made deals with up to 65 partners to develop applications including Microsoft and Amazon. It also includes deals with photo sharing site Photobucket, multimedia presentation site Slide, music discovery site iLike, instant messaging site Twitter and VOIP sites Jajah and Jaxtr.

The company says it wants to move away from being solely a website and become a ‘platform’ upon which other applications are based. The applications will work both internally within Facebook and externally as stand-alone products. Facebook’s 23-year-old CEO, Mark Zukerberg, said in his announcement:

Until now, social networks have been closed platforms. Today, we’re going to end that.

Founded in 2004, Facebook now has 24 million users and is growing at around 3 percent per week. It still remains second to MySpace in terms of popularity although this is a real statement of intent to change that situation. An example of what to expect is Facebook’s ‘Book Review’ service, developed alongside Amazon which allows members to write reviews, share what they have written and buy the books on Amazon.com.

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