Google has recently gone public about it’s Open Social offering which some of you, like me, will find very fascinating. In brief, Open Social is a development platform that lets developers easily develop applications for social networking sites.
Until now, many of the social networking sites, eg Facebook, LinkedIn, Bebo, Orkut etc required programming unique to their site and technology in order to create an application which could be accessed through their interface. Google’s Open Social however is a base standard that many sites have agreed to implement making it easier for developers to reuse their applications across multiple social networking sites.
Here is a video which explains the Open Social concept and benefits (it is fairly long, but the first few minutes will give you a good overview).
For those of you who don’t know what social networking applications are, it’s time you explored. Visit Facebook, join up and start to play.(If you need a starting point, some of my favourite Facebook applications are: TripAdvisor Cities Ive Visited and My countdowns).
So why is Open Social going to be a big deal? Applications are the new phase of the Internet and we are currently only on the tip of the iceberg. With many websites now opening up their back end developers can now build applications which allow mini programs to be accessed through other websites. In some cases there is no need to force users to visit your website when you can achieve a similar outcome by getting them to interact with you whilst on one of their favourite sites. At present this is used more in a social context but it is moving into the phase where companies are starting to take advantage of this functionality. The Open Social system will now make it a lot more viable for companies to consider this method to reach their target audience.