Getting the week off to a bright start, Facebook this morning unveiled a new “Open Stream API,” which gives developers off-site access to the core experience of Facebook. As TechCrunch’s Erick Schonfeld points out, this is a big deal:
This is a big deal. It potentially puts Facebook side by side with Twitter in all of these desktop and mobile client applications where a lot of the real-time conversation is happening and lets it compete head-to-head with Twitter. Whichever conversation stream is more interesting will prevail.
It’s also a big deal in terms of Facebook supporting open standards. Rather than develop their own proprietary Activity Stream API, Facebook embraced the emerging Activity Streams open spec:
To enable developers to access the stream, we’ve built the Facebook Open Stream API to include the emerging Activity Streams standard. Over the last several months, we’ve been collaborating with the community, hosting meetups at Facebook headquarters, and speaking at industry events about Activity Streams and the open stack. We think that working alongside our peers to create an open standard for accessing and consuming streams is the future. We’ll continue to make contributions to the standards community and related technologies and are happy to be one of the first companies to implement Activity Streams at scale.
This is awesome news. Props to my friends over at Facebook!