Silicon Alley Insider editor Peter Kafka had the opportunity for some cocktail conversation with Facebook investor and board member Jim Breyer of Accel Partners on Thursday night, and he had some interesting news to report.
Most intriguing is the fact that Breyer refused to outlaw a Facebook partnership with OpenSocial, the Google-created social networking platform that's managed to steal a whole lot of Valley buzz from Facebook right as it gears up to make a major advertising announcement.
"Jim said that the company isn't philosophically opposed to what Google is trying to do, and that its business model isn't dependent on keeping its social network gated," Kafka wrote in the Alley Insider post. "He also acknowledged that users will want to be able to port their data, networks, connections, etc., from Facebook to other networks, and vice versa, and suggested that something like that may be possible within a year."
If Facebook signed on to OpenSocial, plenty of critics would see it as not only a concession of defeat, but also as a sign that a social-networking brand like Facebook may be destined to remain on the level of other social media sites rather than on a par with major Web presences like Google or Yahoo.
Amid all the breathy enthusiasm over the past few months about Facebook and its potential, there was plenty of talk about when we'd start counting the Mark Zuckerberg-created social network alongside technology's serious power players. An OpenSocial partnership would, in a sense, place it among the rank and file in Google's herd.
But wait, there's more. According to Kafka, Breyer additionally rehashed the Facebook executive line that there will be no initial public offering for the company until 2009 at the earliest, and seemed to confirm that the rumored $500 million in hedge fund investments was indeed a fallacy. "The company doesn't need any more cash to fuel operations, Jim says, but would consider another raise if it was from a strategic partner," Kafka wrote.