Rumor: Third-party widgets on Facebook?

Eliot van Buskirk on Wired's Listening Post blog is reporting that a source has informed him of what could be a pretty darn interesting development in the world of social networking. Van Buskirk writes that social networking site Facebook plans to allow its members to embed third-party widgets on their profiles, "allowing users to embed outside audio, video and other content onto their profile pages for the first time."

Currently, there are on Facebook, but no way to embed third-party content or to customize the design of members' profiles. As van Buskirk wrote on Listening Post, "essentially, each profile page looks like the next."

Last week, Facebook's chief rival MySpace opted to block content from photo- and video-sharing site Photobucket. Could Facebook see MySpace's potential aversion to third-party widgets as an opportunity to seize market share from its News Corp.-owned foe? We'll see if this materializes.

It should be noted that if this rumor is legit, it could turn out to be a very controversial move on Facebook's part, much like the "news feed" that was launched late last summer. Many Facebook members like the site's clean interface, as opposed to the customized look of MySpace profiles that often include backgrounds, photos, videos, custom fonts and color schemes, and what-have-you.

Again, we'll have to see how this pans out...if it does.

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Tech Culture
About the author

Caroline McCarthy, a CNET News staff writer, is a downtown Manhattanite happily addicted to social-media tools and restaurant blogs. Her pre-CNET resume includes interning at an IT security firm and brewing cappuccinos.

 

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