Facebook makeover adds partners with facelift

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Facebook is getting a face-lift.

Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook -- a social networking site he started for Harvard undergraduates that has turned into a global phenomenon -- speaking to a crowd of hundreds software developers at the company's first-ever conference in San Francisco on Thursday. Facebook is getting a face-lift. REUTERS/Anders Frick/handout

The social network giant announced a major makeover Thursday, revealing dozens of new partners to embed a dizzying array of applications -- known as widgets -- into the site from such companies as Amazon, Microsoft Corp. and Warner Bros. Records.

In a separate announcement Thursday, CBS Corp. unveiled an expansion to its CBS Interactive Audience Network, adding a slew of new partners, too.

Facebook, the sixth-most-visited Web site in the U.S., unveiled the new plan at its F8 conference in San Francisco. Among the 65 inaugural developers that will contribute widgets to the site include Amazon, which would allow Facebook users to write and exhibit book reviews directly on their profile pages along with a link to purchase the book.

Content applications already signed up for Facebook include such sites as uPlayMe and CollegeHumor, which will enable sharing and showcasing of their programs.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg described the overhaul as a “social operating system.”

The strategy is in stark contrast to the only social network bigger than Facebook in the U.S., MySpace, which has been more guarded about allowing widgets on its site. But while MySpace’s 67 million users dwarf Facebook’s 24 million users, Facebook is growing faster.

In addition, CBS’ CIAN is adding a batch of new partners, including Dave Networks, Goowycq Media, Meevee and VideoEgg. In addition, the network will allow existing partners to incorporate community-building applications to its content.

Among partners CBS already named to the network for syndicating content are Microsoft, CNET Networks and Joost.

“We are taking the CBS Audience Network directly to the user,” CBS Interactive president Quincy Smith said. “We want to empower our audience to be creative and deepen their experience with our content by allowing them to share and embed CBS-provided clips to their blogs, wikis, widgets, community sites and whatever else gets thrown our way.”

Reuters/Hollywood Reporter