Social Enterprise

Google embraces and extends Facebook apps

With less effort than negotiating for a 1.6% stake in Facebook, has Google simply outmanoeuvred everybody with their write once, run anywhere approach to social applications?

With less effort than negotiating for a 1.6% stake in Facebook, has Google simply outmanoeuvred everybody? With the likes of LinkedIn, MySpace, and Salesforce onside with Google's new OpenSocial platform it certainly packs a punch to potential competitors before it's really even entered the ring.

If Microsoft released a social networking application platform (SNAP) that locked out the up and coming challenger, you could bet your sweet candy that folks would be yelling "embrace and extend, again!" and making calls for the US Department of Justice to take a look.

Of course, that isn't how it happened, because it was Google that rolled out OpenSocial. In addition to the never-ending Google lovefest that rarely criticises the company, the move is also a fantastic play against Facebook, and its recent business partner, Microsoft.

The huge positive of OpenSocial is that it can be future-proofed. As mum and dad begin to use Facebook, diaspora occurs, and the effort that was put into Facebook feels wasted. If this were to occur with an OpenSocial site, as long as the site that people drifted to was also an OpenSocial site (and the percentage of that seems quite high), people can take their applications with them.

Suddenly the new site is cool again, since you are on "the cutting edge" again, but it retains the same applications as before.

It's possible that as people move on from Facebook, we could find ourselves in a situation where we have distributed social networking (DSN). It doesn't matter which site you are on, since you could rely on the SNAP to do all the functionality rather than using what comes with your social site of choice.

Will people from Facebook move to KySpace? How awesome are SNAP and DSN for acronym bingo? Let us know in the talkback or by dropping us a line.

About Chris Duckett

Some would say that it is a long way from software engineering to journalism, others would correctly argue that it is a mere 10 metres according to the floor plan.During his first five years with CBS Interactive, Chris started his journalistic advent...

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