I 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?