Facebook made the landmark (and long-awaited) announcement that it was going to enable the “Open Stream“, granting developers far more access and flexibility to Facebook data than they had before. To commemorate the event, Facebook held a special Technology Tasting at its Palo Alto office, where it gave everyone an idea of exactly what developers could do with the new data.
We saw some impressive demos, including an example from Plaxo of how social sites could symbiotically exchange data with Facebook, followed by a walkthrough of the upcoming version of the new Seesmic Desktop. But out of all of them, by far the most visually impressive was a pair of applications put together by Microsoft. Yes, that Microsoft. In less than 72 hours, two small teams managed to put together a pair of applications built on the new Facebook APIs that really show off just how robust a Facebook application can be. The first app was built in Microsoft’s Silverlight platform, while the other is based on .NET.
I managed to get some footage of the demos during the event, but honestly it didn’t really do the apps justice (that’s what I get for trying to record with a video camera in each hand). So I got in touch with the team at Microsoft, which put together the high quality walkthrough video above. The video is narrated by Brian Goldfarb, Director of Microsoft’s Development Platform Group. Are the apps innovative? Not especially. But damn if they don’t look cool.
For those of you itching to try these out for yourselves, I’ve got bad news: you can’t. At least, not yet. But Microsoft will be releasing an SDK and the source code for both of the apps in the near future.