Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Google's OpenSocial: The Mother of All Online Social Networks Is On Its Way

Macworld reported yesterday that Yahoo! has officially joined Google's OpenSocial and that the network is slated for launch within the next 3 months.

I know what you're thinking. Facebook. MySpace. Friendster. Plaxo. LinkedIn. Twitter. The last thing you need is another online social network to log into every day.

Google feels your pain, which is why they have developed OpenSocial.

Right now, each social network operates on its own programming language. Myspace has its own. Facebook has its own. LinkedIn has its own. This is the reason why people on MySpace can't communicate with people on Facebook and vice versa.

How is Google changing the game?

OpenSocial provides a universal set of coding for programmers so they can all be on the same page and speak the same language.

What does that mean?

OpenSocial has the potential to streamline your online social networking. It has the ability to:

1) allow users to access all of their social networks through one web site. Imagine being able to update your profile on one site and have it update in all of your networks.

2) allow users on one network to communicate with users of another network without having to join it.

3) allow the sharing of applications (and the data they generate) between networks.

Now, its still unclear as to what OpenSocial will actually offer upon its release. Initially, it may only allow the sharing of applications between networks. While that would be a bit of a bummer, it's definitely a step in the right direction. Don't get me wrong, I'm not at all enthused about receiving "vampire bites" on Plaxo, but this kind of interactivity will definitely lead to more innovative ideas.

If you're curious as to where your favorite social network stands, here is a complete list of those who have joined Google's OpenSocial:, Friendster, hi5, Hyves, imeem, LinkedIn, MySpace, Ning, Oracle, orkut, Plaxo,, Six Apart, Tianji, Viadeo, XING and Yahoo!

Right now, Facebook is the only major player not in the game. Again, disappointing, but not the end of the world. I'd rather log into two sites than twelve.

As always, you can contact me on any of my social networks by clicking the icons on the right sidebar of this blog.

How do you feel about OpenSocial? I'm curious.

Source: Macworld


Candy Samples said...

I'm down for streamlining!

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