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June 11, 2007

Innovating on the Facebook platform

Posted by Tricia Duryee at 11:06 AM

Redmond-based Sampa, which provides users with tools to make Web sites, said it launched a new service today for Facebook.

Now, the company says, the 19 million-or-so Facebook users, will be able to create Web sites and add blog functionality integrated into their Facebook profile.

Sampa CEO Paul Gross said the launch is part of Facebook's effort to open up some of its technology to allow startups and other companies to innovate on their platform.

Similarly, Seattle-based iLike was one of the first to integrate its music service into the hugely popular social networking site. Since Facebook's platform was opened up, Gross said more than 300 applications have been built for the site.


Sampa

This screenshot captures how the Web site would be integrated into a Facebook profile.

Gross said Sampa, founded in 2005, is targeting 25- to 34-year-olds who are looking to create Web sites as they get married and have children. Although that's not the typical Facebook profile -- which includes a lot of students -- Gross said they want to target users early and help them transition to adulthood. He said, as you get older, you may want to share your photos and thoughts with older relatives, who may not want to sign up for a Facebook account.

"We become interesting when inviting other generations. It may be an unnatural act for an aunt. She's not going to join Facebook," Gross said.

Sampa is currently made up of Gross and founder Marcelo Calbucci. They expect to raise $250,000 to $500,000 in angel money this summer.

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Tricia Duryee
Tricia Duryee
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