updated 08:25 am EDT, Wed October 31, 2007
Google late yesterday introduced OpenSocial (link to be active soon), a new platform for social networking sites. Instead of creating its own site or revamping its existing Orkut friends service, the company has established a common foundation for developing web applications for social sites. Programmers will write once and generate a program that works on multiple pages; each will have access to a user's profile information as well as friends and news feeds or other actions, Google said.
The platform does not make any assumptions about social networks and should work on most any site that uses relatively standard web code with only a few modifications to accept OpenSocial; companies such Friendster, LinkedIn, and Plaxo have pledged to support the platform from day one, according to Google. No details have been given as to whether larger sites such as Facebook or MySpace would adapt to OpenSocial, as these sites tend to use customized languages that prevent a direct conversion. The platform should be available to use as of Thursday. [via GigaOM]