In a post entitled Checkmate? MySpace, Bebo and SixApart To Join Google OpenSocial (confirmed) Mike Arrington writes
Google may have just come out of nowhere and checkmated Facebook in the social networking power struggle.
Update (12:30 PST): On a press call with Google now. This was embargoed for 5:30 pm PST but they’ve moved the time up to 12:30 PST (now). Press release will go out later this evening. My notes:
On the call, Google CEO Eric Schmidt said “we’ve been working with MySpace for more than a year in secret on this” (likely corresponding to their advertising deal announced a year ago).
MySpace says their new platform efforts will be entirely focused on OpenSocial.
The press release names Engage.com, Friendster, hi5, Hyves, imeem, LinkedIn, Ning, Oracle, orkut, Plaxo, Salesforce.com, Six Apart, Tianji, Viadeo, and XING as current OpenSocial partners.
We’re seeing a Flixster application on MySpace now through the OpenSocial APIs. Flixster says it took them less than a day to create this. I’ll add screen shots below.
Here’s the big question - Will Facebook now be forced to join OpenSocial? Google says they are talking to “everyone.” This is a major strategic decision for Facebook, and they may have little choice but to join this coalition.
Bebo has also joined OpenSocial.
I'm confused as to how Mike Arrington considers this a checkmate by Google. At the end of the day, this announcement is simply that folks like Slide and RockYou don't have to maintain multiple code bases for their widgets on various popular social networking sites. In addition, it brings the widget/gadget platform on these sites to a similar level to the Facebook platform. Of course, it won’t be on the same level unless it meets all the criteria from my post on how developers should evaluate the MySpace platform. Which is unlikely since besides MySpace, none of those sites have the userbase or engagement of Facebook users nor does any of them have the same kind of viral properties in distributing applications that Facebook platform has built-in.
At the end of the day, will we see widget developers like the folks at iLike, Slide or Scrabulous leave the Facebook platform because of these announcements? Unlikely.
Will we see a mass migration from Facebook to MySpace or Orkut because you can now add Flixster or Scrabulous to your profile on these sites? Probably not.
So how is this a checkmate again?
OpenSocial simply keeps Facebook’s competitors in the game. It is more like a successful kingside castle than a checkmate.
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