Data Portibility is a distant kin to letting the Google Toolbar autofill forms for you no matter what site you’re on. It’s one thing that AOL did not intend for its users. AOL names and users were strictly AOL names and users and were incompatible with Hotmail, Geocities and a handful of other sites that have either been absorbed or just gone useless.
With Google Apps, ZoHo, the talks of Microsoft Windows 7 and Office going to “the cloud” for a majority of users, Facebook’s decision to move to open source isn’t bad, but it doesn’t seem like the full step needed to avoid extinction when, as we wrote earlier, the fracture occurrs. Open source allows third-party program writers’s applications to work on Facebook and other sites that agree to let that Platform run. Advertisers will reach an extended audience which will benefit them, but since I fail to be a genius, I’m unsure how Facebook itself will benefit outside the good press and prolonged longevity of its platform.
Facebook borrows money based on the assumed value of its project. Microsoft said Facebook’s value was most likely near $16 BILLION bucks. Even with the Euro beating the buck, that’s a pretty nice sum for a site that doesn’t produce much of any original content. Targeting the masses of users through classical print advertising has brought that value to Facebook. Use of classical print advertising that too many browsers and plug-ins can automatically block never saved AOL.
Despite this open souce platform move, I still don’t see how Facebook will retain even 60% of its value when the hammer drops and advertisers realize that the thing that upsets people the most about Facebook is the goofy advertising gimicks that come via that very platform.