"For Facebook, a larger ecosystem around Facebook creates stickiness and creates a 'rising tide' where Facebook is at the center," said Kerravala. "My guess is much of the investment will be with companies that interoperate with Facebook. The industry doesn't need another Facebook but needs to make Facebook do more."
This social networking fund also may play a role in Facebook's growing rivalry with Google.
Reports have been circulating the Internet for a few months that Google developing a own social network that would compete with Facebook. And Facebook, the most popular social network, has been making some moves to better position itself to take on a frontal assault from the world's biggest Internet company.
Earlier this month, for instance, Facebook furthered its partnership with Google rival Microsoft to making searching with the latter's Bing search engine more social. Providing help to start-ups that one day will support the facebook platform will further help the company in its battle with the search giant.
"[Facebook] is moving forward in social network, and Google may happen to be in the way," said Gottheil. "Social networking is a growing category, so expanding companies are going to be fighting it out."
Sharon Gaudin covers the Internet and Web 2.0, emerging technologies, and desktop and laptop chips for Computerworld. Follow Sharon on Twitter at @sgaudin , or subscribe to Sharon's RSS feed . Her e-mail address is email@example.com .
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