After so many announcements for this or that application's Facebook appearance, it's nice to see Facebook play a supporting role in kind.
On Tuesday, Fring, a VoIP and IM application for a range of mobile phones, added the ability to fold Facebook into the communicator, through a new Settings menu option called fringAdd-ons. Gmail Notifier, Orkut, vTap videos, and Yandex.mail are also in there, together representing the first extensions created by third-party developers using Fring's application programming interface.
Exactly how many add-ons join this handful will depend on Fring's popularity with casual developers. Fring is not the only mobile software company opening its API to programmers. In fact, crowd-sourcing software authors is now seen as integral to a mobile software publisher's strategy and success. iPhone is the biggest honcho to have more recently welcomed developers, and the success of Google Android as a mobile platform is tied to the mostly independent developers fighting to win big money for their grand ideas and edgy implementations.
So far, connector programs like the Facebook add-on are a good start. Relatively easy to make, programs like these help Fring close in on bragging rights for being the most far-reaching social networking hub out of all the multinetwork text and VoIP (voice over Internet Protocol) communicators without putting forth additional development dollars.
FringAdd-ons are currently available for the latest versions of Nokia Symbian 9, Sony Ericsson UIQ, and Windows Mobile.