Facebook has partnered with Adobe Systems to make it easier for developers to bring its Flash technology to their social apps, the two companies have announced. Adobe has introduced a new ActionScript 3.0 client library to provide resources to developers who are using Flash on Facebook's developer platform and Facebook Connect product, and will be promoting the possibilities of integrating Flash with Facebook's API on its Web site.
"There just weren't a lot of great tools that officially helped developers put these platforms together," Facebook senior platform manager Josh Elman told CNET News. While unofficial Flash libraries have been amassed by Facebook developers before, this is "an officially supported library that we're both endorsing that Adobe, who are really the experts in Flash development, could provide better samples and documentation to their developer site," he said.
Flash is already a huge presence on Facebook's platform, particularly on the gaming side, Elman said--12 of its top 20 applications use the technology. And at big app development companies like RockYou or Zynga, working Flash into the platform was not much of a problem given the volume of engineering talent. The new library, which is free and open-source, is aimed particularly at independent developers whose limited expertise or resources may have made integrating code from Facebook and Flash more challenging.
"This is going to be just a much easier get-started toolkit," Elman said.
The announcement comes hot on the heels of rival social network MySpace's partnership with Microsoft to bring its Silverlight technology--a Flash rival--to its developer platform. Microsoft, ironically, has invested $240 million in Facebook. When asked if a similar Silverlight partnership would be coming to Facebook, Elman's comment was that Facebook is "constantly talking to Microsoft about a variety of things."
Both partnerships were timed to launch at this week's Web 2.0 Expo in San Francisco, which runs Tuesday through Friday.