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Social networking gets its geek on
Written by Daniel   
Thursday, 27 December 2007 12:31
Social networking gets its geek on
By Caroline McCarthy
Staff Writer, CNET
Published: December 27, 2007, 4:00 AM PST

For most of 2007, buzz in the social-networking world could be summed up in two syllables: Facebook.

At the beginning of the year, was on top of the social-networking heap. And as 2007 draws to a close, the News Corp.-owned site is still far ahead in page views and user accounts. It continues to expand into both new language markets and original media content like the Web series Quarterlife, and it has earned critical acclaim for the interactive "presidential dialogues" that it organized in conjunction with MTV. Parent company Fox Interactive Media has also expanded its social-media offerings, acquiring image-sharing site Photobucket and widget start-up Flektor.

New social-networking start-ups also flooded the Web (MC Hammer, anyone?) and big names like Yahoo and Viacom made plays in the field, as well (Mash and Flux, respectively).

But this was the year that Facebook caught fire, and even a court battle over the site's true origins couldn't stop its momentum for much of 2007.

The real game changer came on May 24, when 23-year-old Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced that the site was releasing code that would let third-party developers create applications to run within the service. Experts considered the Facebook Platform launch a milestone in the evolution of social networks, and developers saw it as their ticket to success. Start-ups devoted entirely to embeddable social-network widgets, like Slide and RockYou, became some of Silicon Valley's hottest new companies.... More Comment in the Forums

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