Today in Social

Mathew Ingram is too kind in his response to Mike Elgan’s silly contention in Datamation that Facebook is the new Yahoo. And while Facebook has at times been a fast follower – so fast it beat Google to the punch in auto-populating groups – that’s not its main claim to fame. Sure, Friendster and MySpace pioneered social networks, and Twitter innovated with real-time feeds. But Facebook built them into a platform, with rich, powerful APIs (unlike Google+ so far). Companies like Zynga barely scratched the surface of what can be built off that platform. Thousands of merchants are trying to build stores. We’ll probably see the launch of a digital music dashboard next week, and who knows what else Facebook will show at its developers’ conference? (An HTML5 plus Credits platform to end-run Apple? Could be.) Facebook is dueling with Google and random others to build out the interest graph, identity management services, unified communications, and the next generation of navigation/discovery and advertising platforms. Don’t let a few flubs fool you.