After announcing Monday morning that it's opening up more of the Facebook API that will allow the creation of new stand-alone applications that use more of the Facebook data stream than they could have previously, the company hosted an event in the afternoon where developers demonstrated their use of the new expanded feed.
Plaxo and Seesmic CEOs showcased their new Open Stream-using apps. A Facebook developer showed a new "demonstration" Adobe Air app. Microsoft showed off a whizzy user interface experiment (video near bottom of post). There was also a surprise announcement about OpenID.
Plaxo showed an enhanced two-way link between the Facebook social network and the Plaxo system. Once a user connects their Plaxo and Facebook accounts together, then their Facebook friends become Plaxo contacts, and updates on the Facebook activity stream also show up in Plaxo. Likewise, when the user updates his or her Plaxo status, it can (optionally) get reflected to their Facebook account. Marketing guy John McCrea told me, "You shouldn't have to re-friend people," when you move from one network to another, and he said he's looking forward to other social networks opening up so he can make Plaxo an even more utilitarian social connector. In particular, he said he'd like to have Plaxo recognize LinkedIn for business contacts and Geni for family connections. But their APIs aren't open enough for that to work yet, he said.
Seesmic CEO Loic Le Meur showed off the upcoming beta of Seesmic Desktop, the company's new TweetDeck competitor. It gives users full two-way integration to their Facebook accounts from within the app. It can, optionally, intermingle your Twitter and Facebook alerts into one activity stream in your Seesmic interface, or separate them into different streams. (As before, it supports multiple Twitter accounts and lets you save searches and user lists, which feature-wise, gives it an edge over Tweetdeck.) It's also worth noting that since we first saw Seesmic Desktop, the interface seems to have been cleaned up a bit. The new version should be out this week.
Facebook's own Justin Bishop showed a proof-of-concept Adobe Air app that lets you interact with your Facebook account without firing up a Web browser. Bishop said Facebook will continue to develop the app, but at the same time the company does not want to compete with other Facebook Air app makers (like Seesmic). You can get the app from a link on the Facebook blog. … Read more