Apr. 27, 2009

Posted by in Facebook | No comments

Facebook Opens Stream Access

Big news from Facebook today.  They’ve announced that third-party developers can now access a user’s “stream” of updates (basically, the new News Feed, which isn’t really the News Feed any more, or a user’s “Wall,” which isn’t really the old wall… never mind).  This move is somewhat risky, but in the end I think it will be a net gain – particularly for users.  I can only imagine what new applications people invent that take advantage of this, and developers are already getting started.  This may even help increase Facebook’s usefulness, which for me personally has declined significantly since the latest redesign.

However, as your local social networking hacker, I do have to add a caveat to all the good news.  The new feature automatically raises questions about privacy and security.  At this time, Facebook has wisely chosen to limit most content to items that are shared for “Everyone.”  (Adding that user group now makes even more sense.)  But status updates and shared items are accessible to applications even when shared with “Friends Only.”  Not a deal-breaker, but once again, users need to be clearly informed how this will work to avoid surprises.

Anyway, looking forward to seeing where this goes!

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