Posted October 3, 2008 3:38 pm by with 15 comments

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friendsterI have a little song for you today. It’s to the tune of “Oh Shenandoah.”

O-pen Social, you long to give us
A-a-apps, all open source
O-pen Social, you long to serve us
A-a-away you’re bound to go
‘Cause Facebook’s stealing your lunch

Okay, the last line might not fit so well in the song, but it looks to be happening in the real world. Yet another social network that had pledged its support to Open Social is adding compatibility with Facebook’s application language. Yes, first it was Bebo (in December) and now it’s Friendster.

Announced a year ago, Open Social is Google’s answer to Facebook’s then-proprietary social network app markup language. Designed as a cross-platform, open source language and set of standards, Open Social seemed pretty awesome at first.

But the shine was off pretty quick. With delays in release and some limitations in its application, Open Social partners began eyeing Facebook’s markup language, FBML, as soon as Facebook announced that they’d be allowing their language to be used by other sites. Bebo announced it would work with both Open Social and FBML that very day—just as both LinkedIn and Friendster announced the launch of their own platforms.

In May, Facebook made its platform open source, severely undercutting that aspect of Open Social’s USP. The huge, obvious advantage there is the instant compatibility with thousands of popular apps already developed for Facebook. What better way to encourage developers to work with you than by showing them it doesn’t require any work?

Friendster just barely joined up with Open Social last month. Open Social continues to loses its exclusive partners as they sign on to use both protocols. Is this one fight that Google may be losing? Or have they already won by forcing Facebook to go open source?

I’ll also be taking requests for next week’s song to parodize. Witchy Woman, anyone?

  • Looks like Facebook is making a lot of “friends” of its own w/Friendster, Digg, and others.

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  • This should be good for both of them…

  • Its great to have a little competition, they will both benefit from this

  • Facebook is more like the old man river. It just keeps rolling on!

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  • PS3

    Surely the social networking scene has to reach saturation point some time soon? How many places can we sign up to/post etc?

  • i start to use friendster about 4 to 5 year ago, and only use facebook this year.

    If not mistaken, friendster are more popular in asian country

  • Has Google put out the contracts yet?

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  • Guess Google can’t win all the time. Chrome isn’t picking up that well either.

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  • The more standardization and cross-compatibility between platforms, the better, IMO

  • well i’ve been using it and it is a nice application…. anyways thanks for the post

  • I would say that Google has already won by having Facebook go open source. That’s what Google is about!

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  • indeed. competition and the free flow of information tend to be pluses.

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  • Google cannot be the winner every time. can’t it?

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  • The open source route was best for facebook. I think Google won by getting them to finally go “open source”.

  • Facebook is certainly more easy to customized but I would say Friendster is far more user friendly thus popular in Asian countries.