Google aims to control Facebook with OpenSocial

October 31, 2007

Google aims to control Facebook with OpenSocialTomorrow, 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.

In regards to what OpenSocial will really look like, ZDNet editor-in-chief Dan Farber said, “OpenSocial consists of APIs for profile information, friend information (social graph) and activities, such as a news feed. OpenSocial users Javascript and HTML rather than a markup language as Facebook does.”

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.

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4 Responses to “Google aims to control Facebook with OpenSocial”

  1. Matthew:

    I think the OpenSocial can be succeful. with Google settting standards as to applications available on social networking sites. And again the ultimate goal is to monetize these sites. Without standards, it is hard to build up an effective advertising network. Facebook is succesful because of the number of users, yet nobody has really figured out how to monetize it accordingly. Let’s wait and see!


  2. Elisa:

    I think Nicole Ferraro said it best(
    “A person briefed on the plans said the sites in the alliance had a combined 100 million users, more than double the size of Facebook.” Well, thanks to Sherlock for the fascinating statistic, but when the teams are 12 versus 1 what exactly are we comparing?”

  3. Penetration Testing:

    Google appears to be focusing on segmentation by organizing around “circles,” allowing an easy way to target particular posts to friends, family, colleagues, etc. In fact you can do this on Facebook as well, but Facebook lists are not as easy to find or edit; nor are they as easy to view as a separate stream.

  4. Carolyne Meggett:

    Howdy! This article could not be written any better! Looking through this post reminds me of my previous roommate! He continually kept preaching about this. I’ll forward this information to him. Pretty sure he’s going to have a good read. I appreciate you for sharing!|

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