Later today, Google will announce OpenSocial (link will go live soon ) and suddenly, every marketer who wants to stay relevant will need to start taking social networks very seriously indeed.
– the leading social network (by a factor of 10)- opened its platform to outside developers last spring, more than 5,000 small programs have been built to run on the Facebook site, and some have been adopted by millions of the site’s users. But MySpace, which has more social networking clout than Google’s other announced OpenSocial partners, has joined OpenSocial, and that means all-out socnet war.
The thing is, many of the Facebook apps are silly things like vampire hugs and food throwing. It’ll be interesting to see how developers figure out ways to expand the concept to additional business uses.
Whether OpenSocial will succeed in one upping Facebook depends on who you listen to.
I agree with Charlene Li, who says:
“Watch for the smartest, most aggressive developers to move over to the OpenSocial platform, eager to create apps that will gain early, viral traction in these new networks.”
Internet pioneer Marc Andreessen on why his company, Ning, is participating in OpenSocial, writes:
“With the Facebook platform, app developers build to Facebook-proprietary languages and APIs such as FBML (Facebook Markup Language) and FQL (Facebook Query Language) — those languages and APIs don’t work anywhere other than Facebook — and then the apps can only run within Facebook.
Look at it this way: most users on the Internet (1.3+ billion, with 100 million joining every year) are not yet using any social networking service. The more compelling social networking becomes, the more users who will discover and start using social networking, and the bigger the pie gets for everyone, including Facebook.”
Dave Winer is more skeptical:
“Standards devised by one tech company whose main purpose is to undermine another tech company, usually don’t work.
In this case it’s Google trying to undermine Facebook. And I don’t think it’s going to work. What would be exciting and uplifting, a real game-changer — Internet companies giving users full control of their data.
When Google makes their announcement on Thursday, the question they should be asked by everyone is — How much of my data are you letting me control today? That’s pretty much all that matters to anyone, imho.”
And Andy Beard scarfs,
“OpenSocial is just another step in Google’s play to control everyone’s personal profile.”
The developers of some of the most popular Facebook applications, including iLike, Slide, Flixter and RockYou, are expected to be present Thursday evening at Google’s headquarters in Mountain View, Calif., where they will announce that they will tailor their programs to run on the OpenSocial sites.
Related: Robert Scoble is reporting from the Google conference on Twitter.
The google announcement reminds me a lot of the Universal Widget Standard that Netvibes and others are pushing.
Maybe i’m not technical enough here – but what’s the big deal. Of course, Google throwing its weight behind this will help, but I don’t see anything revolutionary in here.
Most people on Facebook are perfectly happy there with the entire experience!
The big deal seems to be that Facebook is a walled community with its own programming language. So, as I understand it, if you want your movie choices also to show on your website or your blog, etc., that is not possible.
WHat I think IS huge is that corporate marketers and ad agencies, many of whom have been ignoring or pooh poohing social networking, will now have to get up to speed on the real way people want to use the Internet. Hint: it is not a one way street.
I completely agree with Christian. I dont see anything NEW in the OPEN SOCIAL. If it wasnt for Google, people wouldnt have had so much interest in anticipation of their launch.
The idea of Platform itself isnt new. Facebook picked it 1st and executed it in a way no body ever did. Off course, their social graph is so strong that it had to work.
What google is pushing is more of a widget tech. Just because other big players r piggybacking, doesnt mean any treat to FBK.
After google ad networks and analytics, i havent seen anything innovative coming out from there… wondering if they have lost their way!!!
As usual, you had the jump on most posters on this story. You know you had one of the only (if not the only) stories with an actual link to the site: http://code.google.com/apis/opensocial/
I wonder if people really understand the ramifications of this battle. I see some established gurus are saying it doesn’t mean much, but I think this is going to be a war – with the winner getting control, access and the ability to work with the largest social marketing network on the planet.
That’s millions of people who collectively decide what products, services, businesses and vendors rise to the top.
Sure you may be able to access and advertise (for millions of dollars) on this network – BUT – if your product, customer service or anything else about your company is not up to par – you will lose.
Even better, the companies that are good – well – they get free word of mouth advertising – and they win.
Amazing stuff! I love it!
Once again, nice work.
If OpenSocial catches on, this will mean the end to the traditional social network. It could be good or it could be bad…but it will definitely be interesting!