New details: Google OpenSocial will be launched on Thursday

Original author: Michael Arrington
  • Transfer

Today, some details about Google’s great social networking ambitions have been revealed. This was first reported here in September, continued earlier this week. The new project, called OpenSocial (the address will be available on Thursday), surpasses everything that we reported earlier. This is a set of common APIs that developers can use to create applications that work on any social networks that wish to join.

However, this can not be called even a platform for social networking . Platforms are launched one after another, and developers are faced with a difficult choice. Support for each next network application comes at a price. Most developers will choose one or two platforms, and ignore all the others, based on a simple cost-benefit ratio.

Google is going to give developers an easy way to create an application that works equally well on all social networks. And if they can do it, they will be in the center, controlling the network.

What do they launch

OpenSocial is a set of three common APIs defined by Google and partners, which will allow developers to access the basic functions and important information of social networks:

  • profile information (user data)
  • friendship information (social graph)
  • activity (new events, things like News)

Sites agree to process API calls and return relevant data. Google will not attempt to provide universal access to all features, focusing on the most common tasks. And access to specialized functions and data can be obtained through the use of our own API sites.

Unlike Facebook, OpenSocial does not imply its own markup language (Facebook requires the use of FBML for security purposes, but it also makes the code applicable only to Facebook). Instead, developers use regular javascript and html (and can embed flash objects). The benefit of this approach is that developers can use most of their existing code and just fine-tune it for OpenSocial, so building applications is even easier than for Facebook.

Applications may not be limited in anything on the profile page, and / or on the "page-web", this is determined by the rules of each site individually. Facebook, by contrast, allows you to use only a widget with disabilities in your profile.

OpenSocial does not say anything about the specific rules and restrictions of sites, for example, is it permissible to use advertising, or is it possible to use the site without first submitting an application (as required by Facebook). Sites establish their own rules and monitor their implementation themselves. The APIs themselves are designed to be as flexible as possible.

Project partners

Partners can be divided into two categories: sites and developers. Sites are affiliate social networks including Orkut, Salesforce, LinkedIn, Ning, Hi5, Plaxo, Friendster, Viadeo and Oracle. Among the developers are Flixster, iLike, RockYou and Slide.

What does this mean

The time to launch OpenSocial is the best one. Developers constantly complain about the difficulty of learning another markup language for each new platform of the social network, and about the time spent on creating and maintaining the code. Someone had to create a system that simplifies this process (as we said in the last sentences of this post ). And the apparent fear of Facebook brought Google good partners. Developers will immediately start using these APIs to gain access to an impressive list of participating social networks.

And soon they will achieve their goal. Obviously, the first developers on Facebook Platform got an easy hit. However, those who came for them had a lot more difficulty. Now the developers have found a new Klondike, and soon they will all work on it.

Also popular now: