Keeping up with Google OpenSocial

Google LogoOk, maybe you’ve heard rumblings of Google’s wanting to “out open” Facebook? Well, today, Google announced the release of a set of tools (APIs) that will enable developers to easily create applications (widgets) that will work on any participating network. As of this writing, the list of social network partners include Orkut (of course), Hi5, Salesforce, LinkedIn, Ning, Plaxo, Friendster, Oracle and, just announced, MySpace (wow!).

The great thing is that these applications can be written in everyday ol’ javascript and HTML, which can then be used on various sites—unlike Facebook, which requires the use of its own markup language (FBML) and can only be used on that particular site. Whether or not OpenSocial apps reach the same massive number of users as Facebook remains to be seen, but it does show a leveling of the playing field, that’s for sure. Like I said, you build once and you can run your app on any number of networks. Very nice. BTW, here’s an example of what OpenSocial may look like on LinkedIn (from Valleywag).

Here’s an idea: OpenSocial could be a relatively easy way for non-networking sites to integrate some social networking goodness. Contact us, we’d love to talk to you about how this can work.

These two should get a room
Google’s announcement comes a week after losing out to Microsoft in a race to invest in Facebook. Next Tuesday, Facebook is set to announce the launching of an ad network that will enable advertisers to target precisely the people they want to reach based on demographic and profile information. Wonder what Google will counter with?

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