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Facebook F8: Zuckerberg’s Keynote; Friend Connect, Favored Apps; Expanded fbFund

imageWhile some of the crew is in Hollywood for EconCeleb, we’re here at the “office” holding things down… but via the magic of streaming, we, and you, can catch Mark Zuckerberg’s keynote at the Facebook developer conference here. Given all the talk surrounding the Facebook app ecosystem, this was hotly anticipated. We tuned in late, but a release that’s been sent out spells out the big announcements. Among them: Facebook is expanding its fbFund, which has been pretty quiet. The plan currently is to award $10 million into 25 different apps. And as Kara Swisher reported earlier, the company is introducing a system to reward great apps by offering them higher exposure… iLike and Causes are the inaugural members. Conversely, the tiered system should also punish spammier, lower quality apps. Not in the release: anything about a payment platform, which has been rumored.

Facebook Connect: The company’s plan for integrating Facebook more deeply into third party sites, Facebook Connect, was first announced in May, with Digg named as the initial partner. Digg, Movable Type and CitySearch showed demos. A key feature: the ability to sign onto a third party site with a Facebook account. The CitySearch case is straightforward — basically it makes it more like Yelp, by bringing a peer reviews element. As Zuckerberg put it: “Less of this movement is going to be on the site” He then compared the state of social networks today to the early days of the PC, when the PC makers disrupted Apple’s (NSDQ: AAPL) vertically integrated model (Ed. note: and now Apple’s vertically integrated PC model is winning again…). Other launch partners include: CNET (NSDQ: CNET), CollegeHumor, Disney-ABC Television Group, Evite, Hulu, StumbleUpon, Twitter, Uber, Vimeo and Xobni.