Facebook has once again made it the coolest platform ever by opening their API further, and most importantly supporting sessions that don’t expire every 24 hours. There’s been a lot of talk on the web about this helping them to monetize Facebook’s user base through commerce partnerships. I think that’s true, but I also think it’ll have a profound affect on Facebook’s traditional market — college students.
The breadth and volume of Facebook’s usage on college campuses is hard to ignore. In a focus group I had with our career center, a number of students told me that Facebook was basically their primary method of communications. It’s how people share photos, find study partners, blog, and watch their friends all rolled up in one.
I think the key of the new platform initiative is that integrations like Duke University’s DukePass portal integration that drive Facebook into the heart of institutional IT initiatives. There’s just too many users, and it does stuff too well.
So not only is Facebook broadening their reach — they’re also tightening their ties to their core audience. And the possibility to actually partner with institutions, as opposed to having to grassroots everywhere. Bottom line — smooth move.