Tomorrow, Google will unvail what many feel could either pose a serious threat to Facebook or could flop terrifically: OpenSocial, its new social networking platform.
OpenSocial aims to deliver what Facebook has recently stabbed at by allowing developers to create unique user-fed applications; however, Google is approaching it by creating a venue for all interested developers to create applications that will bridge the gap between all social networking sites that choose to affiliate themselves with OpenSocial, according to ZDNet.
So far, some social networking sites that are on board are Google’s own Orkut, LinkedIn, hi5, XING, Friendster, Ning, and Plaxo.
What Google hopes is that developers will be attracted to their OpenSocial platform where designing applications will not only be easier, but will be universal to a large number of social networking sites, whereas programming singularly for Facebook isn’t as diverse or efficient.
Here’s the big question: can Google really knock the wind out of Facebook’s lungs? Facebook is picking up users at a fast rate, and the new applications are a hit amongst its user base. Not only that, people love the structure and concept of Facebook in comparison to the other large networking site MySpace (which, if I had my way, would be stricken from the internet forever).
Though Google does have a stranglehold on the internet, there’s a very real chance that developers, after fidgeting uncomfortably in front of the internet giant’s proposition, will scurry back to Facebook and leave Google without the development support it needs to really make headway.
On a more positive note, perhaps this new venture by Google will direct attention away from MySpace, which is turning out to be a severe drag on progress in social networking. Wouldn’t it be lovely if some guardian of the internet somewhere went to MySpace and said, “Look…this is awkward. What with Facebook picking up more and more users, and Google jumping into the mix…we’re going to have to ask you to move on.”
Realistically, there is no chance that Facebook would jump on this ship; it would effectively be signing over that which separates it from the rest of the internet to Google, and who wants to do that? Why let the big dog have it all? As long as Facebook continues picking up users, it really doesn’t stand to gain a thing from using the services of Google and its affiliates.