Facebook to open user content to third-party developers

Facebook is expected to announce today that it plans to give third-party developers greater access to user-generated content to enable them to build new...

Facebook is expected to announce today that it plans to give third-party developers greater access to user-generated content to enable them to build new services, according to the Wall Street Journal.

This will mean developers can build services that can access, with users' permission, the photos, videos, notes and comments users upload to Facebook.

Developers could, for example, build a service that associates the photos a user had uploaded to Facebook with their account on another Web site, like an email service, the report said.

Facebook will ensure users' privacy settings will extend to any new services built in an attempt to persuade users it is safe to allow third-party developer access to their content.

The move is likely to be aimed at bringing Facebook in line with micro-blogging service Twitter that has opened up many of its core features to developers.

Until now Facebook has tightly controlled the look and feel of its service and how developers can interact with it.

The social networking site has been criticised for the restrictions on and limitations of its service that allows people to connect with their Facebook friends on other Web sites.

Facebook is not expected to charge developers for access to user-generated content, indicating that the move is aimed at encouraging users to interact more often with the site.

Facebook is also expect to announce that developers can interact with Facebook data using an open technology standard that other Web sites can also use to broaden the service's appeal.

If introduced, user adoption is not guaranteed considering the strong reaction when Facebook tried to change terms and conditions affecting user-generated content in February and was forced to back down to appease angry users.

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