TechCrunch has been informed of details about Google's new social network project, called "opensocial" (which will be released on Thursday in the United States ). Opensocial itself is not a social network, but more like another common API (Application Program Programming Interface), which allows developers to enjoy the following core functions and information.
Page Information (user data)
Friend information (social map)
Behavior (events that occur, news subscriptions that can determine user features)
There are some very common APIs that have user data and will continue to play the "master" role, including Orkut, Salesforce, LinkedIn,, Ning, hi5, plaxo, Friendster, viadeo, and Oracle. Developers are already involved in social networks including flixster, Ilike, rockyou, and slide-you will recognize them as "powerful developers" on Facebook ".
(Image from TechCrunch)
What does this mean?
In short, Google has created a social network framework that will end competition with Facebook and MySpace (and Bebo in the U.S. market ). It is the "third place" of social networks-for social networks that lack popularity or expertise, such as Ning, hi5, and our old friend Friendster, this is a huge opportunity for advancement.
It is unclear where the benefits are for users. I imagine there will be some interoperability-for example, when users join the social networking site Ning, there will be a hook for putting their Friendster pages and data ). Is it the full "output" function that Marc Canter has always called? This remains to be observed. But I think, in any case, at least there will be no output from opensocial to Facebook or MySpace. Although I prefer to be wrong.
According to the public message, it seems to be another typical distributed system (like AdSense and search) created by Google ). The goal is, of course, to address challenges from Facebook and MySpace. Facebook has taken the lead and become a mainstream developer platform. Since goolge does not "own" third-party networks, that is, powerful social networking websites like hi5 and Friendster-Google becomes the platforms of those social networks.
The current situation is Facebook vs MySpace vs other social networks-today, the rest of the sites are running under the Google framework.
This is the Chineses opensocial forum, for the English Forum, please visit this link.
How does opensocial play its role?
This unified development model not only helps developers, but also benefits websites. First, developers only need to learn the API once to develop and deploy applications on all websites that support opensocial. Second, because any website can implement opensocial, developers will have a wider channel network than before to access and promote users. The website itself introduces a standard API set, so that more third-party developers can update and better apply it. Naturally, the beneficiaries include the users of social networks. They will enjoy the new experience brought about by more diverse social apps.