Now this throws a multitude of hunger starved cats amongst a flock over heavily overfed pigeons...
Facebook has had enough of this Twitter nonsense, enough of seeing its semi-rival enjoy near 1000 per cent growth in the last year, enough of having secret bids rejected and enough of Twitter grabbing all the headlines (and a quick reference any time someone mentions Stephen Fry).
Consequently the current social networking champ is fighting back by doing something very simple yet potentially game changing: opening up its status, notes, links and video platform. In Facebook's own words:
"We've seen increasing engagement with over 15 million users updating their status each day and sharing over 24 million links per month. We wanted to make sure this content and the ability to share this content was available through our standard APIs. Specifically, your applications can now directly access all of a user's status, links, and notes via new methods and FQL calls. Your application will have access to any status, notes, or links from the active user or their friends that are currently visible to the active user. In addition, we're opening new APIs for you to post links, create notes, or upload videos for the current user, and we've made setting a user's status easier."
Yes, Facebook gives sweet examples like: "a travel application could make it really easy for users to create and share notes and upload photos and videos from a recent trip... or a news website could use Facebook Connect to allow users to easily post links from the site and feature all of the most recent links that a user's friends have shared from that website." Let's get real however, with the site reporting over 15m users updating their status each day and sharing over 24m links per month this steamrollers into Twitter land. Is Twitter established enough to withstand it? Will the two fight, merge or happily co-exist? Who knows?
Either way I get the strange feeling Stephen Fry with be at the heart of it...
Update: Hugo's Twitter profile is currently MIA. Has the mutiny started already...?