announced on Thursday its Data Availability platform and Facebook countered quickly with Facebook Connect. Now it seems that Google's OpenSocial platform will join the ranks on Monday with "Friend Connect".Giant social networks Myspace and Facebook have plans to expand beyond their walls. Myspace
Google's Friend Connect Platform
According to TechCrunch, Michael Arrington has heard from several sources that Google has made plans to launch a competitor to the Data Availability and Facebook Connect platforms on Monday.What we know so far is that the "Friend Connect" platform will be another set of APIs for developers to use in order to securely push profile information into third party websites.
Don't get your hopes up just yet. The most interesting part of this story is that it seems Google will be keeping a tighter reign on its data compared to the Facebook Connect and Data Availability platforms. Where Myspace and Facebook will be using their APIs to distribute data, Google will be requiring third parties to show data directly from Google's servers in an iframe. While third parties will be able to make the connection, it will unfortunately have to be on Google's terms.
Is Google Taking OpenSocial In The Wrong Direction?
Wait a minute. If the rumors are true, isn't this the opposite of what the OpenSocial network stands for? All of these companies are vying to get their product out the door first, while maintaining as much control as possible. Yet, this is a particularly unorthodox move from Google for the OpenSocial network. Thinking on what users and developers are hoping Google will accomplish with the OpenSocial network, Google should be leading the pack with settings, features, and restrictions for the Friend Connect platform. Instead, it seems they'll be doing the exact opposite.
Competing with the platforms of Myspace and Facebook will be no easy feat, even for a giant like Google. While the Friend Connect platform would be a welcomed addition to OpenSocial, developers and users will suffer if Google plans to implement limiting restrictions. If the rumors are true, Google may have already lost this battle.