Yesterday, Google announced its OpenSocial program to create a standardized APIs for social network platform developers. While their list of participating networks was lengthy, notably absent were the social networking giants—MySpace and Facebook.
Until today. MySpace and Google announced that the largest social network in the world will be joining the developing initiative by the largest search engine in the world. Google has said that over the past year, they’ve been secretly working on with MySpace to include them in the OpenSocial.
MySpace will not make an effort to create its own markup language (as Facebook has already done). Flixster has already created a MySpace application using the OpenSocial API standards (screenshots at TechCrunch).
TechCrunch notes that it now looks like all of the other social networks have ganged up to take on Facebook with Google as their leader. Michael Arrington anticipates that Facebook “may have little choice but to join this coalition.” He also notes that Six Apart, the owners of Moveable Type, TypePad and LiveJournal, has announced that they’ll be joining as well.
I’m not sure that Facebook will necessarily be inclined to join the standard and abandon its own proprietary FBML (Facebook Markup Language) and platform just yet, even though MySpace could definitely give them a run for their money. MySpace will have to contend with just as much spam in their apps as they see in their profiles and groups.
However, if Facebook hesitates too long and the OpenSocial standard takes off, they could potentially be left in the dust.
What do you think is Facebook’s best move?
Update: It appears Facebook hasn’t had any contact from Google about OpenSocial. Has Google deliberately shunned them?