Marty Wells of Tangler (and a Citizen Agency client) has some great thoughts on Facebook’s usurping of MySpace’s opportunity to set the standard API of the social web. Basically, that Facebook came out with their API first means that they dictate the standard calls and features that everyone else will now have to offer parity with.
Joshua and the Delicious folks found themselves in a similar situation — delaying Flock’s rolling out of privacy in favorites even though Shadows had long since supported the feature in its API. And more recently, Ma.gnolia will be mirroring the Delicious API to speed up Flock integration. In the case of another incumbent, Photobucket mirrored Flickr’s API to push Flock integration.
In these and other cases, the sooner you go open, the sooner you reap the benefits. And, I have to admit, I’m happy that it was Facebook to make a move first.