Google Gangs up on Facebook but Microsoft and Yahoo waiting
Now that MySpace and Bebo has joined Google's party, it seems that OpenSocial is most interesting for who it excludes: Facebook, Microsoft and Yahoo. Why should Microsoft and Yahoo be included, after all they don't have any social networks. Neither does Oracle, but they are still part of Google's tribal council.
OpenSocial is cool and all, but its just an umbrella for every type of social networking site out there: from the silly to the business-minded. Facebook by making their development platform proprietary, also created an ecosystem for younger developers with new ideas to flourish. If any web site can be ported to the OpenSocial platform to run on all social networks, old web giants like Amazon and Ebay can retake their deserved place on the top of the web hierarchy. I am sure Amazon will be happy to combine their recommendations database with your social networking data.
But don't expect the outcasts of OpenSocial to stay on the sidelines for long. In the midst of all this excitement over Social Networking platforms and Google's attempt to standardize on html and javascipt, people have forgotten about Instant Messaging, a communications service that has more users than Myspace or Facebook.
For years Microsoft, Yahoo and AOL have talked about using standards to integrate their IM networks. But they have been extremely slowly to carry through, probably realizing their networks are worth more when they are kept separate. Now that Social Networking has eclipsed IM as the cool technology, expect a deal from Microsoft and Yahoo, one that excludes Google of course since no-one uses Google Talk. A linkup between MSN Messenger - Yahoo Messenger - Facebook, that would really shake up the game.