Yesterday, we showed you charts comparing Facebook to the motley group of also-ran social networks Google roped together as a part of the initiative. Not impressive. But then news came that MySpace and Bebo had joined the initiative. Now Facebook was really in trouble, right? Not quite.
A few quick points to douse your raging one for OpenSocial:
- As some are pointing out, OpenSocial should really be called OpenWidget. Why? Because app users on one social network still can't interact with users on another. The "social graph" — or list of friends — of one website won't connect with others through OpenSocial. This will limit the viral growth of applications as well as their usefulness on smaller networks.
- But MySpace, right? Well, remember, MySpace already planned to launch a developer's platform. They still are. This competition was going to happen anyway.
- But Bebo, right? Well, no. Bebo joined OpenSocial but also announced it would import apps written in FBML. So now developers already planning to write for Facebook actually have another reason to.
- Facebook's platform itself was more hype than substance four days ago. If the best app we've seen yet is a way to download your address book, I'm not ready to say the reason Facebook dominates has anything to do with its third-party platform. Like Facebook itself, its application platform is more a matter of hope than reality. So what's Google's me-too OpenSocial, if not an imitation of hype?