Monday, Mar. 22, 2010

Building Platforms, Not Websites

Twitter has never been about going to — the website itself is pretty barebones, a fact founder Evan Williams freely admitted in his March 14 SXSW keynote. The microblogging service has gone one step further with their announcement of @Anywhere, a platform to help publishers and web designers build Twitter features into their own websites. The service, which will launch with 13 beta partners including the New York Times and YouTube, lets Twitter users post messages and find new people to follow without ever needing to leave a partner's website.

While details were scant, it is Twitter's first stab at matching the success of Facebook's Connect platform, which lets users sign in and interact with websites using their Facebook profile and data. But Mark Zuckerberg's social giant isn't resting on its laurels either — at an event for Facebook Developers, Facebook platform manager Gareth Davis characterized the company as a "service" rather than a Web destination. If you read between the lines, that means that Facebook is likely going to further de-emphasize the importance of going to and focus on making your Facebook profile a crucial part of everything you do on the Web.