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 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 »





MySpace is on to Books

30 10 2007

The online social network, an increasingly popular venue for authors, booksellers and publishers, is collaborating with a children’s imprint of HarperCollins on an environmental handbook coming out April 22, Earth Day.

“How great it is to launch a partnership with a company with as large an influence as MySpace on such an important topic,” Jane Friedman, President and CEO of HarperCollins, said Wednesday in a statement.

“MySpace has entire online communities, such as the Impact Channel and OurPlanet, dedicated solely to environmental and social causes,” Tom Anderson, co-founder and president of MySpace, said in a statement. “The first MySpace book is just one more way we are working to engage the MySpace community in environmental issues and encourage people to take action.”

The paperback original, to be called “MySpace/Our Planet: Change is Possible,” will be written by freelance journalist Jeca Taudte and include a foreword by Anderson. According to Brenda Bowen, vice president and publisher of the Bowen Press, a HarperCollins imprint, “MySpace/Our Planet” will be about 160 pages and cost about $12.95. A first printing of 200,000 is planned.

The book will feature ideas from MySpace users, who through Nov. 7 can post environmental tips on http://www.myspace.com/ourplanet. Bowen says about 40 such suggestions, their length ranging from a sentence to a paragraph, will be woven throughout the text. MySpace contributors who end up in the book will not be paid, but will be credited by their usernames and geographic locations.

“The main idea we want to get across is that teenagers are not only contributing to this book, but are being provided a blueprint on how to help the environment,” Bowen told The Associated Press.

MySpace already has projects with other media, including a collaboration with MTV on dialogues between voters and presidential candidates. Bowen and MySpace’s senior vice president for public affairs, Jeff Berman, agree that other book projects are likely.

“We’re always talking to potential partners about big ideas and this one with HarperCollins made a lot of sense,” Berman says. “We want to be at the forefront of user-generated media, and books are an important part of that.”