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Facebook and the end of sheep tossing as we know it?

The company's out with a new initiative designed to expand its popularity and smooth relations with developers. Rafe Needleman and I got together to take stock of the coming changes.

Facebook has had at times--what's best way to put this?--a contentious relationship with its 400,000 or so developers. But now, Facebook wants what CEO Mark Zuckerberg describes as "meaningful" tools on the service. He's going to need to need that legion of developers if Facebook is going to substantially grow. On Wednesday, the company debuted Facebook Connect, a program designed to allow users to access and feed their Facebook profiles and friends on any Web site.

In theory, that's a big deal. As with everything, we'll need to see how it plays out in practice. My CNET News colleague Dan Farber offers a good take where he notes that "underneath the "make the world a better place" is the fact that both Facebook and Google, as well as Yahoo, Microsoft, MySpace and others, want to be the portal for the masses."

Earlier Thursday, I sat down with Webware editor-in-chief Rafe Needleman, who was at Facebook's campus to cover the announcement. You can check out our conversation by clicking on the video link below: