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Showing posts with label Google launched OpenSocial. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Google launched OpenSocial. Show all posts

June 29, 2011

Google's Last Attempt To Launch a Facebook Killer

Remember Google Buzz?  Orkut, or Google Wave.? All these products were touted to be the next big thing in social media ultimately ended  up as Google's Biggest Failures. Either Google has learnt nothing from them or it has learned  " awfully lot" from them.

On Tuesday, Google introduced a social networking service called The Google+ project — which happens to look a lot like Facebook. The service, which is initially available to a select group of Google users who will soon be able to invite others, will let people share and discuss status updates, photos and links, much as they do on Facebook.

But the Google+ project will be different in one significant way, which Google hopes will be enough to convince people to use yet another social network.

It is meant for sharing with groups — like colleagues, roommates or hiking friends — not with all of one’s friends or the entire Web. It also offers group text messaging and video chat.

“In real life, we have walls and windows and I can speak to you knowing who’s in the room, but in the online world, you get to a ‘Share’ box and you share with the whole world,” said Bradley Horowitz, a vice president for product management at Google, who is leading the company’s social efforts with Vic Gundotra, a senior vice president for engineering. “We have a different model.”

Google has been criticized for failing to understand the importance of social information on the Web until competitors like Facebook and Twitter had already leapt ahead.

Part of the blame, analysts say, falls on Google’s engineering-heavy culture, which values quantitative data and algorithms over more abstract pursuits like socializing.

When users visit their Google+ home page, they see three columns and a stream of status updates in the middle that looks remarkably like Facebook. But Google said that besides an easier way to share with select groups, Google+ has several other features that distinguish it from competitors.

It offers group video chats, called Hangouts, that other members of a group can join as it is happening. Users can search a section called Sparks to see articles and videos from across the Web on certain topics, like recipes or ailments, and share them with relevant groups of friends.

And on the Google+ mobile app for Android phones and iPhones, people can chat with groups using a feature called Huddle. Photos and videos shot with cellphones are automatically uploaded to a private album, so Google+ users can quickly view and post them from their phones or later on a computer.


The debut of Google+ will test whether Google can overcome its past stumbles in this area and deal with one of the most pressing challenges facing the company. At stake is Google’s status as the most popular entry point to the Web. When people post on Facebook, which is mostly off-limits to search engines, Google loses valuable information that could benefit its Web search, advertising and other products.

New York Times commenting on  Google's new Social Media initiative writes that Facebook users are unlikely to duplicate their network of friends on Google+ and post to both sites, but that they could use them for different types of communication. Google+ could also attract Facebook holdouts who have been uncomfortable sharing too publicly.

However Industry watchers  feels that "Google+ may already be too late". In May, 180 million people visited Google sites, including YouTube, compared with 157.2 million on Facebook,      according to comScore. But Facebook users looked at 103 billion pages      and and    spent an average of 375 minutes on the site, while Google users viewed 46.3 billion pages and spent 231 minute

March 27, 2011

Google To Launch "Group Texting App"

It seems like Google has made a foray into the group messaging space today with Disco, a new iPhone app and website.The service utilizes the domain that Google bought at Domainfest last year for $255K. The site went up today and the beta app hit the App Store yesterday, which was made by Slide.

According to Techcrunch ,the app is made by Slide, the storied social apps property which Google acquired in August for $182 million. Slide has made iPhone apps before, but the last one was Super Poke, an app created pre-Google acquisition And since  Slide is still run  autonomously within the company as their own startup of sorts, the app probably doesn’t have anything to do with Google’s broader social strategy.

The app is the Disco website, which provides a simple, streamlined way to send text messages to your groups from the web. And new messages appear in real time. You can also manage your groups from here, create new groups, and edit your profile. The site also works beautifully with the Google Voice Chrome extension if you have it installed.

 Read More about Google : Group Messaging Foray

October 31, 2007

Google Finally Launched Open Platform API for Social Networks

We knew that Google was planning to open its social networking platform to third parties and we were waiting for the official announcement on Nov 5th . But today Google revealed more details about its ambitious plans regarding opening up its API to third party developers and thereby taking directly on developers " Poster Boy" Facebook.

The new project, called OpenSocial (URL will go live on Thursday), goes well beyond what we’ve previously seen. It is a set of common APIs that application developers can use to create applications that work on any social networks (called “hosts”) that choose to participate.

The new standard will allow developers to create Facebook-like apps on any social network site that implements it with the same calls.

The open API will have three parts

* People: user profile information,user data
* Social Graph:Friends Information
* Activity stream: things taking place/regular Feeds

All of these calls will have a GData counterpart and they will use HTML and JavaScript only. Google won’t try to provide universal API coverage for special use cases, instead focusing on the most common uses. Specialized functions/data can be accessed from the hosts directly via their own APIs.

One way Google Opensocial stands out that it does not have its own markup language unlike Facebook. Facebook have its own markup language called FBML ( facebook mark up language ) for which the codes are unusable in other sites except Facebook for security seasons.

This is clearly a master stroke by Google . The developer community has long expressed their disappointment with working within multiple interfaces because of the costs/learning/maintaining different markup languages for every new social networking platform. Thus by bringing in an impressive array of Hosts and streamlining the Markup languages ( which will enable application of these API's) The Developer community that was at times irritated by sticking only to FMBL which never worked in other social networks has reasons to feel happy about.

In OpenSocial developers use normal javascript and html (and can embed Flash elements). The benefit of the Google approach is that developers can use much of their existing front end code and simply tailor it slightly for OpenSocial, so creating applications is even easier than on Facebook.

Google said that its platform will reach more than 100 million users globally, exceeding Facebook's user base. Its early partners for hosting these APIs include Google’s social network, Orkut, as well as others, including LinkedIn, hi5, Friendster,Plaxo,Ning Viadeo, Ning, Salesforce, and Oracle..while developers include Flixster, iLike, RockYou and Slide. Google also said that they would like Facebook to also be part of its project, but the social network leader did not comment yet.

"Google will be holding the first of their developer CampFires at the GooglePlex this Friday to explain OpenSocial. A CampFire is Google's new method of disseminating information to developers. These events will be invite-only and will include about thirty developers. Video of the event will be available in the days following.

Patrick Chanezon, a Google evangelist, will be giving a technical talk on the OpenSocial API Tuesday, November 6th (next week) at the Web 2.0 Expo Berlin.