Facebook Co-Founder Dustin Moskovitz shared the spotlight with RIM Co-Founder Mike Lazaridis during Wednesday's CTIA Keynote address, and the duo announced the availability of a custom Facebook app for Blackberry users. The application is available for free download to any Blackberry user, but T-Mobile USA will be the first carrier to ship Blackberries with the software pre-loaded.
Moskovitz spoke about mobile as the next frontier for Web sites like his, and encouraged developers to check out Facebook's open platform architecture. Facebook users can register for developer status and download an API which allows them to create Facebook applications that can be distributed and used freely on the site.
Just hours after the Keynote, Facebook and Microsoft announced a deal in which the software giant paid $240 million for a 1.6% stake in the not yet four year-old social networking site. Microsoft beat out Google to get a piece of the Facebook pie, and the deal gives Facebook a $15 billion dollar valuation, which is roughly on par with the market capitalizations of Gap Inc. and Marriott International Inc. You've heard of their jeans and hotels, right?
The deal makes Microsoft the exclusive third-party advertising platform for Facebook. Previously, Microsoft had inked a deal to sell banner ads next to member profiles on the site in the US through 2011. Facebook said they plan to use the investment to double their staff over the next year, amongst other growth initiatives.