Friday, November 2, 2007

What OpenSocial Means to You

Wow! Just when I stopped reeling over the 100 million users impacted by the new Google-led OpenSocial API standards, MySpace comes on board and doubles that number! This is big!

What is OpenSocial, and why is this so groundbreaking? Marc Andreessen gives an accessible, if somewhat lengthy, description on his blog,

In a nutshell, what it means is that creators of the nifty widgets that you’ve seen grow like wildfire on Facebook can now create similarly cool tools that will work on virtually all the other major social networks. And users can share them with each other across all those networks as well. Which means, on one hand, that the barriers between the different networks are coming down, but also that all the major networks will probably experience greater growth and more interesting content as a result. Along with MySpace saying that they will start allowing ads in widgets on MySpace via a revenue-sharing model, this will really pump widget growth into the stratosphere.

Of course, it begs the question – if all social networks start to share similar tools, what will differentiate them? Probably natural segmentation of their communities based on demographics and interests. I predict that twenty-somethings will soon be on an average of five to seven social networks, and the next big thing will be profile management tools like These are interesting times!

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