Facebook earlier this week released its new site design for users to preview and test, which is being gradually rolled out to Facebook?s more than 90 million active users over the coming weeks.
The new site design emphasizes dynamic content and surfaces the most recent and relevant information and activity through feeds, both on News Feed and the Wall. For developers, the new site design enables even deeper integration within the profile for their applications. By taking advantage of the improvements with feeds on Facebook and the other new features, developers can more efficiently distribute their applications and gain more ways to engage meaningfully with users.
Facebook announced that 24 Web sites and applications have joined its efforts to make the Web more open and connected through Facebook Connect. A developer ?sandbox? is now available so developers worldwide can start working with Facebook Connect.
Facebook believes that enabling users to take their identity and friends with them around the Web, while trusting that their privacy is protected, makes the Web more open and connected. Facebook Connect allows users to bring their Facebook account information, friends and privacy to any third party website, desktop application or device.
Digg, Six Apart, and Citysearch were featured live during Zuckerberg?s keynote today demonstrating their planned implementations of Facebook Connect. Facebook Connect will be generally available to users in the fall.
Facebook Connect will allow users to authenticate into partner sites using their Facebook account, take their friends with them wherever they go and share actions on partner sites with their friends back on Facebook through feeds Additional planned participants at launch include: Amiando, CBS.com, CNET, CollegeHumor, Disney-ABC Television Group, Evite, Flock, Hulu, Kongregate, Loopt, Plaxo, Radar, Red Bull, Seesmic, Socialthing!, StumbleUpon, The Insider, Twitter, Uber, Vimeo and Xobni.
The company has also opened up the Translation Application to any developer using Facebook Platform. Beginning today, any Facebook developer can make their application available in any of the 20 languages that are currently available on Facebook, with 69 more coming soon.
Developers can now access the Translation Application to either translate their applications themselves, or open up translation of their application to Facebook users around the world, who will work together to define it in their native languages.
Facebook also launched four new and expanded developer programs and resources. These include Great Apps, iLike and Causes as the inaugural Great Apps, an Application Verification program and a new developer website Facebook.
The push to expand software development efforts across the Web and onto multiple devices comes as Microsoft said its top Internet executive had resigned -- the latest blow to its strategy as it seeks to merge with Yahoo and take on Web leader Google.
Microsoft took a small stake in Facebook last October that valued Facebook, a four-year-old start-up with a little over 500 employees, at $15 billion.