One of the biggest problems with Social Networks is that your information is never synchronised across them if you are in more than one and if you are in only one, the time you invest adding in information, is time you are investing in locking yourself in. You can’t get your information (profile, friends list, feeds, etc.) exported and you therefore need to start over when you join another network.
OpenSocial will be a one-stop-shop for APIs for developers to add applications/information to a number of Social Networks. This one-stop-shop will become a de-facto platform for Social Networks. According to TechCrunch:
OpenSocial is a set of three common APIs, defined by Google with input from partners, that allow developers to access core functions and information at social networks:
* Profile Information (user data)
* Friends Information (social graph)
* Activities (things that happen, News Feed type stuff)
The participating Social Networks, so far, include Orkut, Salesforce, LinkedIn, Ning, Hi5, Plaxo, Friendster, Viadeo and Oracle while the application developers (who developed some of the most popular FaceBook applications) signed up include Flixster, iLike, RockYou and Slide.
FaceBook is conspicuous in its absence. This is a massive challenge to its dominance by probably the only player who could take them on head-to-head.
As you can imagine Marc Canter, who has been hammering away for more openness for Social Networks for as long as I can remember and whose PeopleAggregator product has been an open network aggregator since it launched in June 2006 is very impressed with this development. As marc said in his own post on this:
Man oh Man – this is getting fun.
For the record – we at Broadband Mechanics will be supporting ALL THIS STUFF and making it available to OUR customers. Though right now Iâ€™m in NYC making those customers happy and actually building systems using PeopleAggregator.
So there you have it – the future has arrived and it rocks. Thank you Google (and I have to admit I never thought Iâ€™d be saying that.) Now what about Apple?