Google’s OpenSocial launches Thursday and will be a set of 3 APIs that will allow interface with a stable of early partners in the project incluing Friendster and LinkedIn. Unclear to me is if the big social network players – Myspace and Facebook – will shun this solution in favor of trying to keep most of the balls in their courts. Eyeballs that is.
The really provocative challenge in Social Networks is whether to close them up and try to keep everybody inside your own network (Myspace’s approach), or to open them up somewhat and hope developers will create applications to interface with your users, but still try to keep everybody playing in your application environment by your rules (Facebook), or to open things up even more as Google will do on Thursday.
Google seems to be everywhere these days. The Google Phone or gPhone will be out soon and I predict the Google Phone will be a spectacular success. They may even launch their own cellular carrier network and seem to be on a tear all over the online space.
For Google Social the partners are big, important players including linkedIn, Plaxo, Friendster, Ning, and more, but absent are the two key players in the social place, Myspace and Facebook. If Myspace and Facebook keep doing their own thing it is going to be hard to predict how all this will shake out. Google historically has been a fabulous tech company but conspicuously failed with their “Orkut” social network which never took off in the USA though it remains popular in Brazil. Will Google Social turn all this around? I just don’t know, but will be sure to check it out when available, and hope to be able to develop a travel application for the new Google Social.
TechCrunch has details.