Facebook Spins Out Widgets; Spins Everyone

The big grand announcement Facebook was supposed to make this week came: it is launching widgets. Yep. Did WSJ get spun with a deliberate leak to hype this up? Probably not, but if they can spin us, we can spin conspiracy yarns as well. The announcement: Facebook has done deals to allow companies to provide widgets that Facebook users can insert in their pages, catching up to MySpace and every other social network out there. In total, 65 partner companies unveiled more than 85 additional applications. Read the coverage from Dan Farber and Gigaom (actually Liz is a bit skeptical, but too detailed) for more.
And then, read this piece of “exclusive” hyperbole from David Kirkpatrick…stories like these haven’t been written since 1999. Some new things, like opening up to third-party widgets (although the “w” word is never used as best we can tell) in a bit more structured fashion; the widgets can be monetized anyway–sponsorships, ads, e-commerce–by these companies, with no revenue share yet for Facebook. Also, Facebook has added video, and says it will provide higher-quality video than YouTube (every second new video company’s pitch these days), but mostly for communicating among friends. Smart business moves, but not really earth shattering as the coverage would have you believe. And for you, David, I would humbly suggest a daily diet of our feed. We feed the hungry, satiated and gullible, alike.