The picture looks a little clearer now with respect to Facebook's future. Earlier this week the WSJ had reported that Facebook was about to build some kind of "reverse-API" that would effectively lock out third parties from making money off of services built within Facebook, but it turns out that this isn't the case.
At a Facebook pow-wow yesterday, the future of the social
network utility was outlined, and it includes a lot of "MySpace" functionality with respect to widgets and customization, as well as the invitation for developers to make money by running ads or selling stuff.
Facebook wants to keep those faithful while turbocharging its growth by harnessing some of the magic of MySpace’s openness. It is also going one step further by allowing companies that contribute features to make money on Facebook through their own advertising or commissions on sales.
“You can build a real advertising business on Facebook,” Mr. Zuckerberg said on Thursday during his speech to more than 700 developers and journalists. “If you don’t want to run ads, you can sell something. We encourage you to do both.”.
Love it or hate it, the version of Facebook you see today will probably look nothing like the Facebook of the future. This is a huge gamble that can backfire. The ultimate goal of turning Facebook into a "social operating system" is very ambitious, but I don't see how they'll avoid many of the same problems that plague MySpace.