Yesterday Facebook made some significant announcements regarding the open web. They will make Facebook more open and users and developers can interact with the social network in greater depth than before.
Leveraging the News Feed
First, Facebook announced its Open Stream API which allows developers to build applications that interact with and make use of Facebook’s news feed. Part of this API is the Activity Streams standard, which MySpace is also using for MySpaceID. However, if I got things right, the Activity Streams support is read-only, the read-write part is Facebook’s own API. Don’t quote me on that part, though.
Anyway, Facebook also published a demo application, so you can test the new API right on your desktop (Adobe AIR is required).
I guess, it will only be a matter of time until we see more applications by third parties leveraging Facebook’s news feed.
Facebook’s OpenID Support
The interesting part of the announcement is, that Facebook will auto-detect the OpenID Provider if users are logged into it already before coming to Facebook. This will be a great improvement for OpenID in terms of usability and user experience (see also my post on Spread OpenID).
Facebook and Plaxo
Well, this is not an announcement by Facebook but by Plaxo. Anyway, Plaxo integrated Facebook Connect in quite an interesting way. Users can now add their friends from Facebook on Plaxo without re-friending them again. This could be a blueprint for other sites as well because it is absolutely annoying re-friending people again and again.
Also it’s possible now to automatically update users’ Facebook status when they update their status on Plaxo and vice versa.