Facebook has become so popular that some companies are betting their businesses on it, with participants in a panel at last week's Web 2.0 Summit conference in San Francisco citing the impact of the social-networking site.
"We looked at the Facebook platform before it launched and came away with the conclusion that this could be the greatest paradigm shift in technology since the Internet itself," said panellist Ali Partovi, CEO of the iLike music discovery service.
iLike bet close to 100% of its business on Facebook, he said.
"We made a very big bet. We basically decided to halt work on our own website and spent the next [several] weeks that we had building a Facebook application," Partovi said. iLike's own website, meanwhile, is used to drive traffic to the Facebook application, he said.
"Literally, within the first 24 hours, our Facebook registrations exceeded the rest of our website" by a dramatic amount, he said. In the first 12 hours, iLike signed up 10,000 users, followed by 10,000 more in the next three hours and 10,000 more in the next two hours, he said.
Meanwhile, Facebook application developer Slide is probably allocating 35% of its efforts to the site, said Slide vice president Keith Rabois. Slide decided to invest in Facebook because it created an open environment that encouraged developers to make money for the first time.
"That has been a sea change," Rabois said.
Facebook has opened the floodgates for a raft of innovations, said Seth Goldstein, CEO and co-founder of SocialMedia, which has also developed applications for Facebook. Facebook has 2 million users, half of whom use it daily, he said.
"There's a level of engagement," inside the Facebook platform, he said.
Another panellist saw significance in Facebook widgets. "The neat thing about the Facebook platform is you can actually talk to friends through widgets, thorough the APIs," said Lance Tokuda, CEO of the RockYou photo-sharing site.