Last week was busy for MySpace (NWS) and Facebook — they both announced separate programs that would allow users to share profile data with other Web sites. This morning Google announced a similar program, Friend Connect, which allows users to make connections with each other via a series of sites that use the service.
The main connective tissue here is Google’s anti-Facebook “OpenSocial” coalition — the group of social sites that have supposedly banded together to create a common app platform, in an effort to take on Facebook’s status as the site of choice for app developers.
But there are two curveballs here:
- Three of the sites joining up with Google on Friend Connect are OpenSocial members: Hi5, Plaxo and Google’s Orkut. The fourth is… Facebook.
- Not included in the rollout: MySpace — the largest social network on the OpenSocial Initiative.
What’s going on? We don’t think that this is tantamount to Facebook formally joining OpenSocial. But it is worth noting that a company famous for its walled garden is suddenly opening a lot of gates. And that the best possible outcome for social networks — portability of all their stuff to sites across the Web — doesn’t look like it’s going to become real anytime soon.
See Also: OpenSocial — Doomed From The Start?