So, is Facebook just another “walled garden”?
“Walled Garden” was an online business model of yesteryear where companies thought users would be happy to stick to one web site for all their content and applications. It’s dying embers are still in evidence on AOL.com and MSN.com – one stop shop portals.
The reality of the web is we prefer a multi media, multi provider, long tail of content, (albeit with one search engine to find it all).
To us now, Facebook may not appear to let anyone else in, but maybe we’re not looking deep enough. Facebook is not really an application or even a content portal – it’s a platform. Think Windows, but for the web.
Remember Windows? In windows we got some bundled apps – Calculator, Paint, Netmeeting. But now we buy products from dedicated providers that do the job better – Excel, Photoshop, Skype….
Same with Facebook there are some nice bundled apps – Wall, Poke, Photos, Events, Inbox. These come “pre-installed” with the platform.
But you’re going to want some better apps soon – think Super Wall and Super Poke…
And where are these great new apps going to come from? Not all from Facebook itself but from independent software companies.
You can meet the people who will create these apps at the Facebook Developer Garage London meetings (pictured here is Ankur Shah from techlightenment.com).