Friday, November 02, 2007

Google strikes back with OpenSocial

In order to get seriously into the train of social networking and taking advantage of the frustration experienced by developers facing the costs of learning another markup language for every new social network platform and of taking time in creating and maintaining the code, Google is launching OpenSocial (the link goes live tonight), a set of three common open application programming interfaces (APIs) that lets developers simultaneously craft applications for multiple social networks. These APIs have been created by Google with contribution from partners and will allow developers to access user data, social graphs and activities of users. Differently than Facebook, which requires FBML for security reasons but it also makes the result code unusable outside Facebook, OpenSocial does not have its own markup language, allowing developers the use of normal javascript and html with embedded Flash elements. It seems quite clear that developers will benefit from the ability to use their existing code and simply tailor it for OpenSocial to create applications far easier than on Facebook. It is expected that Google will control the network composed of different social networks by permitting the creation of applications running on all of them, and it already counts with the support of, Hyves, Imeem, Six Apart, Tianji, Xing,, Oracle, LinkedIn, Friendster, Plaxo, Orkut (owned by Google), Ning, Hi5, Viadeo. and the latest and more important incorporations, Bebo and MySpace.
We will have to wait and see whether the recent Microsoft’s money allows Facebook to hold ground or if it will succumb to the power of the almighty Mountain View's company…

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