OpenSocial – Infrastructure For The Other Social Networks

What happened when Facebook hit the scene? In hopes of becoming Internet on Internet, it did exactly the opposite – it centralized all the services and locked its users within the walled gardens. It was good for members in a way, providing a do-all one-stop. But it also meant that they always had to go to Facebook for all their data, once they were out of it, they were empty handed.

So what does Google do now? Google tried to revive Orkut by aping Facebook, but now it is targetting Facebook’s weakest point, its friction with the service providers. OpenSocial, soon-to-go-live Google’s new API set, lets you develop applications for all the member social networks.

In a nutshell, it is infrastructure for all the other social networks. TechCrunch has more details about what entails in using OpenSocial. Google can now position social networks like Orkut, LinkedIn, Ning and many others against Facebook and MySpace. Also, with its non-proprietary technology, it might appeal more to the service providers. In fact, there are already favorable reviews from some.

Of course the community strength will play a very strong role to make one of these dominant. While Facebook and MySpace might be popular in US, I wonder if the collection of rest of the social networks might beat them elsewhere. Unfortunately this can only be speculation, nothing more than that.

Another point to consider is interoperability. While most of the talk with OpenSocial is about treating the developers better, I cannot help but wonder if it will also add a bit of interoperability between those social networks. It might not be an open protocol, but if the social networks do share the profile data and the friends, this platform can be the channel to carry it with you wherever you go. While Facebook asks you to come to one place for all your data, this might enable you to carry the data wherever you go. It will be interesting to see which one catches up.

Discussion [Participate or Link]

  1. OpenSocial Is Picking Up Heat | iface thoughts said:

    […] developers. It will work only if it better than Facebook for the people, especially whether it can boost interoperability within […]

  2. OpenSocial by Google | DesiPundit said:

    […] Just when you thought that social networking was at its peak, the biggest daddy of all, Google launches OpenSocial. Does this mean that it is all over for Facebook and you have to move again? Abhijit gives a quick introduction. […]

  3. Another Alliance From Google, This Time In Mobile Space | iface thoughts said:

    […] under an umbrella. Instead of making Orkut directly compete with Facebook, Google came up with OpenSocial, which has brought together multiple entities. It is more of a platform than a product, inviting […]

  4. DiSo, A OpenID And OAuth Prototype | iface thoughts said:

    […] our data and making it portable and secure according to our preferences. No, this is not same as OpenSocial, this is more focused on letting you and me maintain our own blogroll and then let others access it […]

  5. Facebook And Google Finally Share Something | iface thoughts said:

    […] like this and the OpenSocial are steps towards relieving us of the social network […]

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Abhijit Nadgouda
iface Consulting
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