TechCrunch reports that social network Bebo launched its new Open Application Platform this morning in San Francisco. But the platform is an exact duplicate of Facebook’s platform, based on Facebook opening up the code to third-party developers. (Here’s the Bebo press release.)
Bebo is part of OpenSocial, the competing Google initiative that also features MySpace, among others. However, Bebo’s embrace of the Facebook platform may signal that that the latter’s platform (and not OpenSocial) is the one that will become the standard. There are already hundreds of applications for Facebook platform that give it a considerable head start.
Here’s a Facebook blog post from today about the move to allow others to access and adopt its platform architecture:
In fact, we’ll even license the Facebook Platform methods and tags to other platforms. Of course, Facebook Platform will continue to evolve, but by enabling other social sites to use what we’ve learned, everyone wins — users get a better experience around the web, developers get access to new audiences, and social sites get more applications.
Here’s more discussion of the Bebo platform launch from Techmeme.
In a related bit of news, Yahoo announced that it had introduced several applications for Bebo, including Answers:
With the addition of Yahoo! Answers to Bebo’s new application platform, Bebo users are now able to tap into each other’s knowledge and expertise, benefiting themselves, their friends and the wider Yahoo! Answers community of millions of users. Bebo users can publish and share their Q&As with their friends and promote their reputation and participation in the Yahoo! Answers community via a module displayed on their user profile. They can also ask and answer questions directly within Bebo, and view Q&As from their Bebo friends.
It strikes me that this version of Answers on Bebo could actually be better than Answers itself on Yahoo because of the filtering provided by the community (your network).