Facebook is a pretty polished-looking site, and it wants to stay that way. Unlike MySpace—where you can customize just about everything on your personal page—you can't go hog-wild changing the way Facebook looks. You can adjust only the layout of your home page and profile ever so slightly. But you can do something much cooler than, say, changing the background color of your profile page: Facebook lets you add applications—tiny programs that run inside Facebook.
Second only to the friend-to-friend interactions Facebook tracks for you, applications are one of the main reasons for Facebook's explosive popularity. Why? They're fun! And they can be useful, too. Applications lgt you do everything from silly stuff (such as "spray painting" on your friends' walls or sending your friends virtual potted plants that grow a little each day) to useful things (such as adding chat capability to your Facebook profile or creating a terrific-looking resumé from right inside Facebook).
Facebook granted programmers free access to the Facebook platform in May of 2007, meaning that for the first time ever, anybody with the programming chops and the desire could create an application. Since then, the number of Facebook applications has skyrocketed. If you can imagine it, somebody's probably created a Facebook application that lets you do it.
As this book goes to press, you can choose from over 10,000 Facebook applications. Read on to learn how ...