No longer will Facebook consider itself merely another social network. Instead it is becoming a technology platform on which anyone can build applications for social computing. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg invited me to spend time with executives of Facebook and partner companies in advance of the announcement. (Here's an extensive feature I wrote for Fortune Magazine based on this exclusive access,
The short version is that Facebook is taking its two major assets - its 24-million-members (growing at about 150,000 per day) and its strong technology underpinnings - and making them available to all comers.
"We want to make Facebook into something of an operating system so you can run full applications," Zuckerberg told me, saying it would be analogous to the platform that Microsoft Windows provides for developers. Outsiders can now develop Internet services on Facebook's infrastructure, he explains, that will have full access to all its members. Just as it is when someone writes a program for Windows, programmers won't need any permission from Facebook or any special business relationship with the company.