Congrats to "For Immediate Release" (FIR) for sponsorship by Ragan Communications! - A sure sign of the success of Facebook Platform when there is a site out to review Facebook apps...

Reuters reports on Facebook and its growth, app platform (and the fact that its walled garden is a plus)

image Reuters today came out with a lengthy article, "PluggedIn: Facebook lets friends share private view of Web", that will undoubtedly only continue to fan the flames of Facebook growth.  That growth, in fact, was apparently 1 million new Facebook users in the last week and 5 million in the last 6 weeks.  All in all, not a bad growth curve!  The article starts with the requisite quotes that people need a "Facebook strategy" and other such statements typical of recent Facebook articles.  It also weighs in on the privacy issue:

"Facebook is inherently not open the way the Web is open. Users share all kinds of information on the site they would never share on the Web," (Facebook CTO Adam) D'Angelo, 22, says. "We get users to divulge more information because we protect users' privacy."

Let's just pause there and take a look at that first sentence again:

Facebook is inherently not open the way the Web is open.

Therein lies my fundamental problem.  Don't get me wrong: I am a Facebook user.  I am logged into the site pretty much every day.  I'm also a huge privacy advocate who wants control over what information I expose to whom.  So on one level, I do applaud what they are doing.  I'm also a huge fan of open APIs and platforms... so I like what they've been doing with their "Platform".  But I still go back to my feeling that, as I wrote about previously, we're returning into a world of walled gardens.  To read messages, I have to be logged in to Facebook.  To use the apps, I have to be logged into Facebook.  Facebook has to really be my "portal" to the Internet.  Now, obviously that is good for Facebook... but it worries me to have one site become the lens through which so many people view the Internet.  (Obviously, similar statements though could be said about MySpace or even iGoogle or Yahoo...)

In any event, the Reuters article will no doubt expose even more people to Facebook and generate more interest.  I did enjoy page 3 where they talked about the sudden success application developers have had.  It will indeed be interesting to see where Facebook evolves.