Just An Online Minute... Facebook Invites Amazon, Others To Party

Facebook chief executive and founder Mark Zuckerberg this week unveiled plans to allow other companies and individuals to develop new features for the social networking site.

As of this week, Facebook invited more than 60 companies like Amazon.com and The Washington Post to participate. "We want you to be able to build a business and make money with your applications," Zuckerberg said Thursday in an address to Web developers and the press, according to Forbes. "That's all your revenue. And it's good for Facebook because, if you're building great applications, it is a service to our users."

Some companies have already taken Facebook up on its offer. Amazon, for instance, will roll out a "book review" feature that allows users to write or post reviews to their profiles. Along with the reviews, Amazon is placing a button on the page that users can click on to go to the site and buy the book. Additionally, The Washington Post is offering Facebook members a "political compass," an interactive test that aims to help users define their political ideologies. Users can offer the test via their profiles and also can share the results with other members.

It's not just big corporations that can create these items either. Facebook intends to allow any members to develop new features for the site.

Many questions remain including, notably, whether Facebook users will want these new features. But at least it's becoming clear that Zuckerberg rebuffed a 10-figure offer for Facebook because he had other plans for the site. Indeed, it's hard to imagine that too many companies would be happy to take this kind of risk with Facebook after shelling out $1 billion for the site.

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