There’s mounting evidence that Facebook is becoming not just the preeminent social network, but a platform through which the rest of the web is viewed.
Take Robert Scoble’s view, who sees Facebook as a ‘data black hole’:
I added the WordPress Facebook Application a few days ago. Now my blog, and your comments, are showing up on my Facebook Profile Page. Along with my Twitters. My Flickr photos. My Google Reader items. My Kyte videos. And a bunch of other things.
Jeremiah Owyang is sitting here with me and he’s the one who said it’s a black hole after seeing how Facebook is becoming the new portal for all information you post around the Web.
It’s now becoming an important action for any online community to get onto Facebook – whether it is the main hub of the network or not. Once David Wilcox and Simon Berry decided to take the Open Innovation Exchange bid community and turn it into something bigger, better and more open, Facebook was the first place they turned.
Why do this? After all, the OIE network already has a perfectly good communication and collaboration platform, running on Drupal, which allows community members to blog, comment and share files, ideas and media. But it doesn’t have the tremendous reach of Facebook, where people can be contacted and invited to join through a couple of clicks. Suddenly a lot more people are aware of OIE and what it is about. Suddenly, there are quite a few of us feeling a lot less lonely.
The latest news is that Facebook has aquired Parakey. Parakey is a project founded by Blake Ross, one of the key guys behind FireFox, which acts as a kind of web operating system that straddles the online and offline world.
Parakey’s own introduction describes is as:
…a platform for building applications that merge the best of the desktop and the Web. Like desktop applications, these applications work offline, offer more privacy than pure websites, run quickly, and integrate with your computer and its devices. But like Web applications, they are also more creative, visually alluring, accessible from anywhere and potentially accessible by anyone. In short, Parakey apps are designed to be both useful and social, a combination that is too rare today.
So Facebook might become more than just the number 1 online social environment, and could become accessible offline too. When you bear in mind how much of your online information – as well as that of your friends and colleagues – could be processed through Facebook, the potential of this becomes clear.