Microsoft and Facebook have announced a partnership deal. This comes right after Facebook opened up its API to third party developers. The Facebook platform is already available in the new mashup tool Popfly that Microsoft announced a week back. Microsoft has also released some walkthrough videos and a Developer Toolkit for Facebook on its site. Dan Fernandez and Sean Alexander have a rundown on what has been announced so far.
Hurry up and approve my Popfly request Microsoft!
Here's some of the features that Facebook will integrate with... can you say Poke Me to Play Halo?
- Popfly Facebook Block: Available immediately,
we’ve added the Facebook block which prodices access to Facebook data
including the User Profile, Friends, Photos, Photo Albums, and Events.
- Leverage Existing Blocks:
You can build Facebook applications using Popfly blocks like Flickr,
Digg, Soapbox, Twitter, Windows Live, Xbox Live, and Virtual Earth.
- Silverlight Support:
Another big win here is Facebook has native support for Easily build
next generation applications using Silverlight. With 24 million users
and 40 billion page views a month, this is a huge, huge win for getting
native Silverlight support on Facebook
- Visual Studio Support: The Facebook Developer Toolkit enables developers to build applications for Windows, Web, or Microsoft Office.
- Distribution of the Facebook Developer Toolkit.
The FDT was developed by Microsoft to wrap the Facebook API into a
managed component. Through this component, developers now will be able
to drag ‘n drop a Facebook component onto the component tray in Visual
C# Express , Visual Basic Express and Visual Web Developer (for both
Whidbey and Orcas). Users will be provided all the source code, sample
applications including a WPF app and detail documentation.
- Co-branded Landing Page
on the Facebook developer website. At this site, visitors will be able
to see Microsoft Visual Studio Express and Microsoft Popfly links.
Additionally, a series of new pages were developed called Showcase on the Visual Studio Express site.
Now this sounds like fun. Somebody get a back end database working with this stuff...
Actually, the tinfoil-hat-wearing neophyte voice in me is saying DELETE YOUR FACEBOOK PROFILE NOW! This could open up a can of whup-ass on you when it comes to marketers and spammers parsing friend lists for leads and marking up graffiti walls. The top app installed this week was iLike - how about iDentityTheft next?
Hopefully the good results will outweigh the bad.
This should be a big driver for Silverlight adoption AND Facebook adoption - not to mention MS lets you host the application for free with 4GB of space.
Picture all of the web space providers cringing at the thought... well, probably not yet.