The Facebook Open Stream API


The facebook developer blog today announced a major step towards becoming a true open source friendly app. It has some major updates to its Application Program Interface (API) which it calls as Open Stream API.

Facebook hence becomes one of the first company to embrace this new technology in the open standard front called Activity Streams.Facebook has been collaborating with developers from some time now.Activity Stream builds a lifestream for you by aggregating your social activities all in one place. Whether it's bookmarks on and Ma.gnolia, pictures on Flickr, music on, or posts on your blog, anything you create can be gathered into one easy to read stream.

Basically, what it means is that third-party developers will have access to a feed of all content posted to news feeds--notes, photos, videos, links, "likes" and comments, and activity from other applications built on the social network's platform.Facebook aims to also target a different set of developers with the open of this API - Mobile and Desktop rather than just the web developers.Facebook looks clearly inspired by other social networking sites like Twitter which  has gained extreme popularity because of its open APIs that has helped developers try out lot of new things that was never attempted before.

The facebook developer blog also continues saying that "In addition to the Activity Streams interface, the Open Stream API includes robust new APIs called stream.get and stream.publish and new FQL tables that enable you to directly access the stream.With these new methods, you can access the stream on behalf of a user and then filter, remix, and display the stream back to that user however you choose, wherever you choose, in the manner most relevant for the user experience. Other new API methods will allow users to both publish into the stream and to add comments and "likes" to posts in the stream". Facebook worked with several beta partners, including Seesmic Desktop and Adobe, which created a stream Notifier using its AIR development framework. Now we can reason out why Facebook had jacked up the front page. The "home page" is now the back end for other apps that are going to make it what it should have been in the first place.

The official facebook developer blog can be read here  and the official face book openstream API is documented here.

Author: pradeep