This small step brings Facebook closer towards becoming a true web operating system – a platform for any application that wants to use the user’s context information (social information, friends etc.).
Want to build your own social gaming platform that resides on your own website but leverages the power of users’ Facebook relationships? Now you can! There had previously been applications that could leverage the Facebook API prior to the launch of the platform but there are some significant differences now versus before. The first significant difference is the broader access to Facebook’s core features that the platform provides.
By extending to the web, Facebook will encourage the growth of its developers community without loosing its main asset – user’s information and relationships (as opposed to OpenSocial that will allow users to take their data anywhere).
Unlike all the Web-OS companies trying to sell us “windows inside your browser” Facebook seems to get it – an operating system based on social information and relationships can be much more valuable than the one that simply operates our personal computers.
No wonder they’re comparing Mark Zuckerberg to Bill Gates…