A line in the sand

Netflix’s CEO Reed Hastings has been added to the ever growing board of Facebook. This is an interesting move that could suggest Facebook’s moving into online media, further enforced by their forthcoming tie up with Spotify. But scratch beneath the surface and a more interesting theory pops up.

Reed Hastings also sits on Microsoft’s board of directors. Microsoft happen to have a $240 million stake in Facebook. Call me Columbo, but that makes me think this move is also a political one, acting to bring Facebook and Microsoft closer together. Could this be why when Apple came-a-courting Facebook weren’t interested?

But Twitter were. Twitter is integrated into the new iOS 5 and such integration is surely a sign of favouritism to that platform. Previous performance shows that Apple tend to buy companies and rebadge them as their own, or integrate the product into their systems.

It’s interesting to see moves such as this because it shows the old lines in the sand are still drawn. But there aren’t just two camps now. There’s also Google who tend to do their own thing. What we’re seeing is a move towards a unified web – integration across all sites and platforms (e.g. Facebook Open Graph) – ans as the behemoths start to align with other key names in the industry, it makes for an interesting growth in the digital world and one that ultimately benefits us users.

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