Referencing Google and MySpace OpenSocial Partnership, John Battelle: “History Just Keep[s] Repeating Itself”

friendster-altavista-yahoo.png“God, history just keep repeating itself, doesn’t it? The parallels with the history of search are eerie. Someone leads (Friendster/Alta Vista), then falters, others launch, and catch up, a market leader emerges (Yahoo/MySpace), then a new entrant sprints ahead (Google/Facebook), then the “old” leaders have to partner to respond.”
-John Battelle, Founder of Federated Media, co-founder of Wired Magazine, and author of The Search: How Google and Its Rivals Rewrote the Rules of Business and Transformed Our Culture

Battelle wrote on his blog earlier this afternoon that Chris DeWolfe (co-creator of MySpace), Eric Schmidt (CEO of Google), and Joe Kraus (co-founder of and JotSpot) that MySpace will be adopting Google’s OpenSocial standard APIs.   Facebook on the other hand still has not shown any sign of joining Google OpenSocial.  Facebook provides their developers two types of APIs, FBML Test Console and API Test Console. 

Brandee Barker, Facebook’s Director of Corporate Communications claims that Google did not give a formal briefing to the social network company about OpenSocial
“Despite reports, Facebook has still not been briefed on OpenSocial. When we have had a chance to understand the technology, then Facebook will evaluate participation relative to the benefits to its 50 million users and 100,000 platform developers [Source: TechCrunch].”  However, Google and Facebook are currently talking according to a couple sources.

Will Facebook join the OpenSocial bandwagon?  Stay tuned.

Below is the official press release:



Collaboration on “OpenSocial” to Spark and Simplify Web Innovation

LOS ANGELES / MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA—November 1, 2007—MySpace, the world’s largest social network, and Google, Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG) today announced that they are joining forces to launch OpenSocial— a set of common APIs for building social applications across the web. The partnership spearheads an initiative to standardize and simplify the development of social applications. Today’s announcement underscores MySpace’s commitment to supporting standards that foster innovation in an increasingly social Web.

“Our partnership with Google allows developers to gain massive distribution without unnecessary specialized development for every platform,” said Chris DeWolfe, Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of MySpace. “This is about helping the start-up spend more time building a great product rather than rebuilding it for every social network. We’re pleased to collaborate with Google to establish a landmark standard for social applications.”

As a founding member of OpenSocial, MySpace will provide critical user mass and platform guidance. The OpenSocial standards are designed to evolve through contribution from the open source community and as new features are developed by various partners. Global members of the OpenSocial community include, Friendster, hi5, Hyves, imeem, LinkedIn, Ning, Oracle, orkut, Plaxo,, Six Apart, Tianji, Viadeo, and XING.

“As the most trafficked website in the country and the most popular social network in the world, MySpace is one of the leading forces in the global social Web,” said Dr. Eric Schmidt, Chairman of the Executive Committee and Chief Executive Officer of Google. “We’re thrilled to grow our strategic relationship with MySpace by joining forces on this important initiative.”

“An as application developer, we’re excited to see MySpace adopting the OpenSocial standard for social application development,” said Joe Greenstein, CEO of Flixster. “Application developers have been working with MySpace for a long time—this takes what we can do together to a whole new level. The sheer scale of MySpace makes this extremely exciting for us.”

“We’re all citizens of a larger Web—no network is an island onto itself,” said Aber Whitcomb, CTO of MySpace. “We look forward to continuing to develop great technology with Google and all of the OpenSocial participants. It’s exciting that social networks are getting social with each other.”

The launch of OpenSocial is the first release of technical details for the forthcoming MySpace Platform. Starting tonight, developers can start writing applications for OpenSocial at which the MySpace Platform will support at launch.

This article was written by Amit Chowdhry. You can follow me at @amitchowdhry or on Google+ at
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