Syzygy - 9:16 am on Apr 22, 2010 (gmt 0)
Facebook set out its stall to unseat Google and be at the heart of the web experience... "We are building toward a web where the default is social," said Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook's founder.
Mr Zuckerberg unveiled a number of products aimed at putting users and their friends at the "centre of the web". The most significant was an open graph protocol to let publishers tag their content by type along with a "Like" button that partner sites put on their webpage. This allows users to indicate what they like on a website, be it from photographs to news items and from clothes to music.
That information will then be stored by Facebook the way it already stores connections between people. At the same time any website will be able to take those individual preferences and use them to tailor a more "personalised online experience" for the user and their friends.
Crucially all this can only happen when users are logged into Facebook and "makes it easy to make any page (on the internet) a Facebook page," said Bret Taylor Facebook's director of platform.
My, my, what ambition! Facebook as not just the 'portal' to the web, but in essence the gatekeeper as well. Rather tellingly, like all who start down the route to world domination, Zuckerberg used the 'good' word, much like Google. "...we hope we can be a good force..." he said.
All well and 'good', but what if you don't have friends, or many of them?