Facebook Moving to An Open Platform Strategy

So says WSJ, jumping on an upcoming announcement it says will happen Thursday: Facebook will announce a new strategy to let other companies provide their services on special pages within its site, moving beyond its basic social networking service. These companies will be able to link into Facebook users’ networks of online friends…an example it cites is where a media company could let groups of users share news articles with each other on a page inside Facebook. The firm currently has no plans to share revenue with the companies that develop services to run on Facebook’s platform, but the main draw would be visibility and access to users of the Facebook site.

WSJ says this could turn the site into a bigger portal-like play, though that’s probably overstating it. It does look like Facebook has made up its mind to remain private and independent, and then do an IPO couple of years from now. Also, some good data points in the story: Facebook, which has raised more than $38 million in funding, is profitable and expects to generate close to $150 million in revenue this year, the story says citing sources. Facebook says its user base has more than doubled to 23 million in the past six months, and it is adding 100K new users a day.