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Look Out Socialites - Here Comes Google

Posted on 10.30.2007
Google is scheduled to release OpenSocial in early November to "spread social applications across the Web," said the company. OpenSocial will include a set of common APIs for building social applications across the Web for developers of social applications and websites that want to add social features. The APIs will allow developers to create social networking apps to run on multiple websites, much like Facebook's release of several months ago.

The impact on the Web in general is wide in scope. OpenSocial consists of APIs for profile information, friend information (social graph) and activities, such as a news feed. For users, this will mean that more applications will be available to tap into their own and other user's data, social graphs, feeds and content across a variety of social networks. More of these social networks (micro-networks anyone?) will emerge and if the buzz is accurate, users will also see some data portability as this new network of social heavyweights push for some semblance of standardization.  Developers, however will benefit the most as it will be exponentially easier (thanks to a formal standard) to use one application across multiple networks. Some of the partners involved with OpenSocial include Oracle, Salesforce.com, Hi5, LinkedIn, Slide, Ning, Friendster and Plaxo. Not surprisingly, Facebook and MySpace are not on list.

Google will incorporate their current struggling social network Orkut, and no doubt use recent acquisitions of Jaiku and Zingku to bolster the network and plunge into the mobile social arena.

It looks like a social war is brewing - we'll soon see if all that Googles continues to be gold.
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