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It's true! [Oct. 31st, 2007|05:08 am]
Arvind Narayanan
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[Current Mood |excitedexcited]

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.

[User Picture]From: cubby_t_bear
2007-10-31 11:52 am (UTC)
Am curious here, Arvin. Did Microsoft really get its money's worth out of the deal, or are they just running around buying shiny things in sight in hopes that the next really big moneymaker will materialize therein? I don't keep up enough with developments in the tech world to have a clue, but one is reminded of eBay's multibillion purchase of Skype ... which doesn't seem to have done much for them.
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[User Picture]From: arvindn
2007-10-31 08:01 pm (UTC)
Good question. It's very hard to accurately value Facebook at this point. It's true that they currently don't have a revenue model worth the name. However:

* eventually everyone in the world will be using social networks, simply because everyone else is. There will be a few holdouts, but that's ok. This enormous market is likely going to be shared by myspace, facebook and opensocial.

* apparently facebook is set to announce something next week which will be a way of leveraging social networks for targeted advertising. That in itself is a no-brainer, but apparently it works much better than traditional targeted advertising.

* microsoft knows a lot more about what facebook is up to than you or i do.

Considering all that, I'd hesitate to pass any judgement.

// p.s: that's not my name. you're close though. but don't worry, i'm inured :)
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[User Picture]From: cubby_t_bear
2007-11-01 06:05 am (UTC)
hah :) I plead typo. The keyboard on this computer is going. That's it, really :)
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[User Picture]From: mcfnord
2007-10-31 03:40 pm (UTC)
i'm enthusiastic. i don't like facebook. too many ads. and i'd look at their "revolutionary" platform and just wince at all the stuff i had to learn. i am not sure i understand the o.s. programming model, though. sounds like my html and javascript pages need to run in a container site.
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