Will Facebook's Expansion Turn that Smile Upside Down?

Dennis Faas's picture

The still-chic Facebook may have finally sold out.

The online community, which seems to have eclipsed MySpace as the next big user managed environment, has taken a rather commercial turn. Facebook will now allow major Internet partners, 65 in total, to craft their own applications for the website, with programs ranging from news feeds to -- alas -- new and more exploitive advertising ventures. (Source: clickz.com)

For those who aren't yet familiar with it, Facebook allows those who join (for free) to upload photos, videos, and other personal notes to their very own "space". Not to be confused with MySpace, Facebook is more about linking the average Joe with his high school sweetheart, her new friends, and perhaps the gym teacher. Once one person becomes a friend, messages detailing their relationship status and weekend plans are streamed to one, central social news feeder.

Facebook could certainly be called a voyeur's dream, and now it may also be similarly romantic for the web's big hitters. Two of the new partners are Amazon and Google, both titans in their own spheres. It could mean the infusion of online shopping "wikis" and Google Adwords: spammy qualities that could kill Facebook's cool.

Despite the pressure associated with the move, founder Mark Zuckerberg, a Harvard student who reportedly turned down Yahoo's attempts to buy Facebook last year, believes the site will remain independent. The only new direction Zuckerberg foresees is one where Facebook "can make money for everyone."

Although it still trails MySpace in total popularity, clearly Facebook has all of the momentum. It recently overtook eBay in views and Zuckerberg says, "We're working on passing Google now, too." (Source: sfgate.com)

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