So it's up for a fight then...
Following Google's decision to wage war on MySpace and Facebook with its open source OpenSocial platform, the latter has responded by doing exactly the same - and with better results.
While Google's OpenSocial programme lists Oracle, LinkedIn, Viadeo, Friendster, Plasxo, Ning, Hi5, Orkut (obviously), Flixter, iLike, Slide and RockYou onboard; Facebook has gone straight for the kill nabbing Bebo - currently the third most popular social networking site on the web (after MySpace and Facebook). Take that!
"In the next step of opening up Facebook Platform, Facebook is now making its platform architecture available as a model for other social sites. Facebook will even license the Facebook Platform methods and tags for use by other platforms, which means that the 100,000 developers currently building Facebook applications can make their applications available on other social sites with no extra work," said the company in a statement. "Of course, Facebook Platform will continue to evolve. And by enabling our industry partners to use what we've learned, everyone benefits -- users have a better social experience no matter where they are on the web, developers can make their applications available to new audiences, and social sites can offer more applications for their platform."
To clarify how sites can use the Facebook platform as a model, it has laid out example FBML tag implementations along with test consoles and full documentation here.
Is Google now ruing not beating Microsoft to buying a stake in Facebook? Well, it can't be happy about it…