Google and MySpace team up to stand up to Facebook
After weeks of rumors and speculation, this week Google is expected to finally launch OpenSocial, a set of APIs for social networks. This will allow participating networks to follow in the wake of Facebook and offer their users an improved experience.
The objective of OpenSocial is not to compete directly with Facebook at the social network level, but to offer the same as Facebook has done with its API, but in a free and universal way, applying it to all social networks that wish to participate.
The three standard APIs that Google provides are:
- user information,
- information from friends and
In addition, Google will offer developers a “sandbox” where they can test their applications on Orkut. The area is already operational at the address: http://sandbox.orkut.com/.
Any social network can choose to use OpenSocial, and a number of names have already joined the initiative, including LinkedIn, Orkut, Friendster, Salesforce, Ning, Hi5, Plaxo, Viadeo, and Oracle. Developers like iLike, Flixter and Slide have also joined. However, anyone who wants to develop applications of this type can do it here.
One of the criticisms that were made at first to OpenSocial, was the absence of important names like Amazon, eBay or Microsoft, in the list of participants; something that could determine the success of the initiative. However, a few days ago MySpace announced that it will collaborate with Google, supporting OpenSocial. According to the co-founder and CEO of MySpace, Chris DeWolfe, this will allow developers to make a large-scale distribution without having to raise a specific development for each platform. MySpace's decision is likely due to an attempt to curb the growing success of Facebook that has resulted in a significant loss of MySpace users.