Apps Already Coming for Google’s New OpenSocial

3 11 2007

A day after MySpace and Google sent shockwaves through the Web 2.0 world, third-party developers already are announcing plans to build applications using their jointly developed social network APIs.

MySpace and Google announced Thursday that they had joined forces

to create a set of APIs that can be used to by third parties to create social applications on a variety of sites.

Plaxo, for example, Friday unveiled new dynamic profiles that support Google’s new OpenSocial APIs. Users of Plaxo’s Pulse social network can now create distinct professional and personal profiles that include photos, contact information and privacy settings. Any applications written to the Google OpenSocial APIs can be embedded in the profiles, Plaxo said.

The impetus behind OpenSocial, Google said, was to allow developers to learn one API and then be able to write a social application for any OpenSocial partner site. “And because it’s built on Web standards like HTML and JavaScript, developers don’t have to learn a custom programming languages,” noted Amar Gandhi and Peter Chane, group product managers at Google in a blog post.

Google estimates that more than 200 million users of the Web sites that have committed to OpenSocial, like MySpace, Friendster and LinkedIn, will have access to these applications.

“Perhaps most interestingly, we will see social capabilities move into new contexts,” the two noted in the blog. “OpenSocial will also work in nontraditional social contexts, such as on Salesforce.com and Oracle. With a common set of APIs, it will be even easier to extend social functionality. Beyond the many fun and entertaining social applications we already have seen, we think we’ll see a number of social applications emerge in business contexts.”

Marc Andreessen, who co-founded Netscape (later acquired by AOL in 1998) blogged that OpenSocial dispels the common assumption held by some that Facebook has established unquestionable dominance in the social networking world. He noted that while many people assumed in the mid-1990s that AOL owned the Web because it had amassed tends of millions of users, it lost its dominance when broadband became widely available and people no longer needed a dial-up ISP.

“I am not predicting the death of Facebook,” Andreesen blogged. “I think the Facebook people are brilliant and are going to do very well over the next several years. But the idea that you hear from time to time that ‘all the users are on Facebook’ and ‘the game is over; the Facebook platform has won’ is silly, as you can see every time you use a web site that doesn’t end in aol.com.”

Andreessen, of course, founded Ning, a company that allows users to build their own social networks and is an OpenSocial partner. Ning plans to make OpenSocial applications available to all of its 113,000 social networks later this year or early next spring, the company said. OpenSocial applications will run inside social networks across Ning, the company said.

“All of the partners finalizing and releasing all of the initial OpenSocial container and application implementations, of course,” Andreessen noted in his blog. Everyone can just smell the opportunity, and people are going to drive to ship as quickly as possible.”

Advertisements




Google’s OpenSocial is not a Facebook killer

1 11 2007

For the last year, Sergey Brin has been campaigning at Google with the slogan “features not products” in an attempt to reduce the sprawl of the company’s eccentric creativity.

This campaign may have gone too far, at least when it comes to Google’s new OpenSocial initiative. Google’s new programming interface that allows social networks to communicate with applications is a nifty add-on feature, but it’s not a product. And thus it doesn’t compete with Facebook, despite the dozens of blog posts that say it does.

I can’t believe OpenSocial, in itself, can revive Google’s Orkut social network, which is moribund most everywhere except Brazil. That said, if there are developers who write applications in Portuguese, Orkut could become even more popular and more widely used in Brazil than it already is.

Think about Facebook. If you like Facebook, it’s still because of its core features — the way it lets you communicate and keep tabs on your friends. If you like any of the new applications, it is because on the margin they let you do what you already like doing a bit better. You can throw a sheep at someone instead of poking them. I haven’t seen a Facebook application so compelling that you would join Facebook just to use it.

The frenzy about open platforms misses an essential truth: no one will go through an open door if there isn’t something worthwhile on the other side. The best example of the sort of platform that works is Google Maps. It is a powerful, flexible way to display geographic information. When combined with interesting data, the results can be compelling. (Here is the Los Angeles Times’s wildfire map. Here is a blog with many more examples.)

Social networks do have interesting data that could be used in a mashup application: Profiles of members, and links that define the relationships between members. But this data is only useful if the network has deep penetration of the people users care about. I can see why Marc Andreessen’s Ning, which helps create custom social networks for little league teams and such, might find OpenSocial useful. Read the rest of this entry »





Google leads group assault on Facebook

1 11 2007
The search engine and its allies will offer a single, cross-site open platform, hoping to lure developers away from Facebook

Google and some of the world’s largest social networks have launched their most aggressive attack yet on Facebook, their young rival.

An alliance of companies led by the search engine is planning to introduce a set of common standards that will let software developers write programs for Google’s social network, Orkut, and others such as LinkedIn and Friendster.

The strategy draws inspiration from a feature introduced by Facebook earlier this year, which enables outside developers to write applications for the site, which can then be downloaded and shared by Facebook users.

A cross-site, open platform will, Google hopes, be more attractive to developers than Facebook, and siphon off some of the momentum from the rapidly growing site, for which more than 5,000 applications have been written since it opened its platform in May. Read the rest of this entry »





OpenSocial goes live! Member #45

1 11 2007

Google’s OpenSocial goes live today. I am member #45 of the OpenSocial Network. This new social networking site will definitly be a new trend for Social Networking in the Internet. As Google promised this site does allow user created API to be placed anywhere online (wherever it is possible). Being the 45th member of a humumgous companys’ social networking site has been a great previlage for me!

Join Now!! Its great!! And the best part is, you don’t have to get invitations to join like what happened in Orkut!!





Google’s OpenSocial opens new can of worms

31 10 2007

news analysis When Google announced that its new social-networking initiative would extend to any site that wanted to participate, the land grab for the social Web’s attention just got a whole lot more intense.

In a move that was anticipated for weeks, Google has unveiled a set of application program interfaces (APIs) that allow third-party programmers to build widgets that take advantage of personal data and profile connections on a social networking site. But instead of limiting the project to its own social-networking property, Orkut, Google has invited other sites along for the ride–including LinkedIn, Hi5, Plaxo, Ning, and Friendster.

The initiative, appropriately, is called “OpenSocial.” It’s a clear contrast to Facebook, the social-networking site that became the talk of the tech world when it announced the opening of its developer platform in May but has kept developer activity restricted to its own service (and has since signed an exclusive ad deal with Microsoft in exchange for an equity investment, likely snubbing Google in the process). When other social networks began to announce their own “platform strategies” this fall, concerns were raised that developers would have to create a completely new application for each site. That could prove inefficient and costly, especially for smaller developers working on a shoestring budget.

OpenSocial, should it prove successful, would change that entirely. “At its highest level, Google is a company that is dependent upon having a great Web platform,” said Joe Kraus, Google’s director of product management, in an interview with CNET News.com. “This announcement is about making the Web better.”

Creators of third-party applications are understandably optimistic. “In a lot of ways this is the greatest thing that could’ve happened to us,” said Ali Partovi, CEO of social music site iLike. “We’ve already been very successful with that strategy on Facebook, but then spreading to every other social network out there without an open standard would be much more expensive, harder to justify, and harder to prioritize.” Read the rest of this entry »





Google takes on FaceBook with OpenSocial

31 10 2007

Google’s open social networking platform play is the buzz of the blogosphere tonight. (see Techmeme). Indeed, it is called OpenSocial in that the set of APIs allows developers to create applications that work on any social network that joins Google’s open party. So far, besides Google’s Orkut social net, LinkedIn, hi5, XING, Friendster, Plaxo and Ning (see Marc Andreessen’s post) have joined the party.

Oracle and salesforce.com are also supporting Google’s OpenSocial efforts, which indicates that they have plans to add social networking elements to their application platforms. OpenSocial will officially launch on Thursday.

Plaxo emailed a statement about OpenSocial this evening, getting ahead of the stampede:

“Dynamic profiles redefine what users should expect in terms of how they can represent themselves in a social or business network,” said Todd Masonis, Co-Founder and VP of Products for Plaxo. “We believe that users should have full control over what they share with whom – and that the catalog of widgets that they can choose from should be as open and diverse as the web itself. We are excited to support in dynamic profiles any application written to Google’s just–launched OpenSocial APIs. ”

According to TechCrunch, which first reported on Google’s larger social networking ambitions, OpenSocial consists of APIs for profile information, friend information (social graph) and activities, such as a news feed. OpenSocial users Javascript and HTML rather than a markup language as Facebook does.

This comes on the heels of the Facebook’s dynamic growth based on opening its social graph to developers and Microsoft’s $240 million investment for 1.6 percent of the company. However, unlike Google, Facebook doesn’t open its APIs to support other social networks. The other social networking giant, MySpace, is also planning to open its platform to developers.

This openness is part of what Vic Gundotra, Google’s head of developer programs, meant when he said last week, “In the next year we will make a series of announcements and spend hundreds of millions on innovations and giving them away as open source.”

He explained the newfound openness as more than altruism: “It also makes good economic sense. The more applications, the more usage. More users means more searches. And, more searches means more revenue for Google. The goal is to grow the overall market, not just to increase market share.”

What does OpenSocial mean for Facebook? Read the rest of this entry »





Google Phone – may be out by mid 2008

30 10 2007

Web search leader Google Inc (GOOG.O) is expected to announce advanced software and services enabling handset makers to bring Google-powered phones to market by mid-2008, the Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday, citing people familiar with the matter.

The announcement is expected to come within the next two weeks, the newspaper reported.

No one at Google could immediately be reached for comment.

Google has moved rapidly over the past year to extend its reach beyond text-based, pay-per-click Web search advertising into a variety of new markets, including online video, television, radio and print advertising.

Google has also expanded into enterprise software, which has traditionally been Microsoft Corp’s (MSFT.O) domain.

According the Wall Street Journal, the Google-powered phones are expected to meld several of its applications, including Google Maps, YouTube and Gmail.

The ground-breaking part of the plan, according to the newspaper, is Google’s aim to make the phone’s software “open,” right down to the operating system which controls applications and interacts with hardware.

This will grant independent software developers access to the tools they need to build additional phone features, the Wall Street Journal said.