Thursday, November 01, 2007

Google OpenSocial [Out "fox"ing Competition]

As I wrote in my earlier post - "Google out'open'ing competition in social media" , Google is expected to come out tomorrow with its announcement on "Open Social". On reading the recent press release from Techcrunch - Open Social by Google, the first thing that strikes you is the simplicity of the idea. Realizing the huge advantages that Facebook has - because of being the first entrant and innovator of allowing third party developers to develop APIs in its social networking website, Google has taken the first step of transferring some power to these third party developers to gain their attention and loyalty. [Remember one of the reasons for the Windows' stronghold on OS market was because of the large number of third party developers who bonded them self with Windows] If Google has not taken this decision, most of the third party developers would have sided with Facebook by creating their application only on the Face book Mark Up language and thereby leaving zero probability for the success of orkut. [And who has the time to rewrite the code for another social networking site???].

But now, Google through its framework is trying to avoid that situation by creating a industry standard for others to follow. It is trying to create an industry standard where third party developers use HTML and Javascript to write their social applications(so just one application for all the websites) rather than using a language specific to the website[e.g. Facebook Mark Up language - Facebook]. If a huge number of third party developers joined this framework, Facebook has no other option but joining the industry standard, thereby providing a level-playing field for Google. Also Google would be expecting its drive would garner enough attention for its social networking site - Orkut. Success or Failure of this drive by Google is going to decide the future of Face book.

Update: With Myspace & beebo(largest social networking website in U.K. and Ireland) joining OpenSocial, Facebook is the only one left out. They are having the meeting with Google engineers on friday to decide their stand. [And the only option for them is to join the standard] NY Times article titled - 'Google and Friends to Gang up on Facebook' does not seem too outlandish now...

P.S: After seeing this initiative by Google, it seems as though Microsoft paid too much of money for 1.6% ownership of Facebook.. :(

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