Sometime soon, perhaps this week, Facebook will turn the year-old Facebook Platform into an open source project, multiple sources have told us. The immediate effect will be to allow any social network to become Facebook Platform compatible – meaning application developers can easily take their Facebook applications and have them run on those social networks, too.
If they mirror the Open Social approach, third parties will be free to change the Facebook Platform components for their own use and deploy them on their own sites. To have those changes be incorporated into the official versions of Facebook Platform, however, would require Facebook’s approval.
This is a nearly inevitable response to Open Social, which is backed by Google, MySpace and Yahoo. Open Social is also an open source platform, run by the Open Social Foundation. Facebook has been looking more and more like a walled garden of late, and they are being regularly out maneuvered by competitors. Time to fight back.