The news just broke: google to launch OpenSocial
. Marc Andreessen as usual has the most insightful coverage
. I think this is going to be huge. In a sentence, the main difference from facebook is that the focus is split between the app and the platform rather than resting entirely on the platform.
Here's yet another reason your desktop app is going to die a miserable death: pretty soon, everyone who's using your app is going to expect to be able to collaborate, or at least communicate with their friends who're using the app. That's not a feature or an add-on, it's going to be essential functionality.
Interestingly, google's approach takes the web one step closer to "network objects": widgets that live on a web page and interact nontrivially with other objects on the page that come from an entirely different source. I wonder if this might become a more general paradigm.
In related news, Microsoft acquired 1.6% of facebook for $240 million a few days ago. The headline-hungry media extrapolated the numbers to claim that it puts facebook's valuation at $15 bn, which is of course bullshit because the deal included more than just stock.