We choose to use the term ecosystem platform to avoid confusion with product line platform-levers. Ecosystem platforms are external to a company (it’s what a firm may offer outside the walls of the organization.) Platform-levers are internal to an organization and specific to a product line.
Ecosystem platforms are powerful marketplace levers that create value of a company’s actions and investments. They are better thought of a complete business model and strategies, not a specific product line.
Ecosystem platforms can realize exponential value creation, not by the company owns work, but by a network effect caused by at least two different parties who use the platform. Network effect value creation may be from the shear quantity and or the quality of the independent parties. The parties may be customers and suppliers, users and developers, or perhaps communicators and audiences. Examples include Facebook, Amazon and Netflix. Leverage comes from external players, independent of the company. Without external players, ecosystem platforms realize no network effect value creation.
To learn more;
Medium.com: The Network Effect Manual
Deloitte: Platform Business Models Explained