Google to Launch OpenSocial APIs

Shortly after losing out to Microsoft in its efforts to woo social network du jour Facebook, Google has unveiled OpenSocial, a set of common APIs to be backed by Google and an alliance of social sites including LinkedIn, Friendster, Plaxo and Ning.

The strategy is meant to attract developers to an open platform, as Facebook started doing earlier this year. Google is touting the open nature of its platform, and the participation of multiple sites.

"OpenSocial will bring more powerful and pervasive social capabilities to the web because developers will be able to develop and distribute their applications more easily. Users will be able to enjoy new social features faster and in more of the websites, web applications, and social networks they use," a Google spokesperson said.

Google will create a "developer sandbox" on its Orkut network where developers can test the APIs, and will offer resources on OpenSocial at http://code.google.com/apis/opensocial.

Marc Andreessen, whose social media site Ning is participating, has posted some technical details on OpenSocial at his pmarca blog.

About the author

Kevin Newcomb joined ClickZ in August 2004, covering search marketing and other online marketing topics. He has been reporting on web-based businesses since 2000.

Before the bubble burst, Kevin was a marketing manager for an online computer reseller, handling copywriting, e-mail marketing, search marketing and running the affiliate program.

With a combination of real-world marketing experience and years of business journalism, Kevin brings to ClickZ a unique ability to deliver news and training materials that help online marketers do their jobs better.