In a challenge to social-networking giant MySpace, Facebook will open itself to outside software developers. With 65 partners—including Microsoft and Amazon—cleared to build web applications within the site, the scrappy No. 2 is attempting to transform itself into an all-in-one destination. The lure: Partners don't have to pay for access or share revenue with Facebook.
Facebook has expanded beyond the college audience over the past year but lags MySpace in members, 24 million to 67 million. CEO Mark Zuckerberg, 23, predicts that the new applications will entice users to spend more time on the site and make purchases from partners. Analysts foresee a Yahoo-type platform model, but Zuckerberg says, "We're working on passing Google next."