Barely a month after Google backed by other social networking sites announced its OpenSocial platform for interoperability between social networks, Facebook has announced that it would also be keen to license its APIs. Depending on how you look at it, this could be the best or the worst thing to happen to the social networking space.
On the negative side, OpenSocial is still embryonic while FaceBook is the dominant player in the social networking space. Google being a dominant player in the Web development arena as a whole implies that developers have a strong bet on the future interoperability standards. However, the same cannot be said about FaceBook.
On the positive side, perhaps the move was exactly what Google wanted, an opening up of the platform that commanded such a large community of social app developers. In the long run perhaps both and maybe still emerging platforms can all coexist as long as there are developers who would not mind porting applications to either side.
Bebo, the UK based social network has perhaps made the best choice of supporting both OpenSocial and the FaceBook APIs.
Other news of importance in these platforms wars would be how LinkedIN has developed its platform to let websites target data from the linkedIN profiles of users. Though the model serves the needs of linkedIN’s primary audience ( its a business networking site), it might be a view of the things to expect from social platforms in general.
More competition does mean better functionality and utility. Same is to be expected from the Social networking front as well. Microsoft alone seems to be conspicuously absent from these technology wars. In the mobile space Microsoft did make a move with the acquisition of WebFives. Perhaps their entry in the platform space too is just an acquisition away.