Rohit Aggarwal

November 2, 2007

API for Online Social Networks

Filed under: Interesting,Reference,Social Networking — Rohit Aggarwal @ 3:34 am

API domain for social networks is getting hotter now. Google has come up with ‘Open Social’, which enables developers to write API across social networks. You can find an excellent discussion about it here from Marc. Current partners of Open Social are MySpace, Orkut, LinkedIn, Hi5, Friendster, Salesforce.com, Oracle, iLike, Flixster, RockYou, Slide, Bebo and SixApart.

Following is an interesting post from TechCrunch  (via Techmeme) :

Checkmate?  MySpace, Bebo and SixApart To Join Google OpenSocial (confirmed)  —  Google may have just come out of nowhere and checkmated Facebook in the social networking power struggle.  —  MySpace and Six Apart will announce that they are joining Google’s OpenSocial initiative.

Some interesting thoughts about API for social networks by Dare Obasanjo aka Carnage4Life:

“Full APIs for Extracting and Creating Content on the Social Network: With the growth in popularity and valuations of social networking sites, some companies have come to the conclusion that the there is an opportunity for making money by becoming meta-social network sites which aggregate a user’s profiles and content from multiple social networking sites. There are literally dozens of Social Network Profile aggregators today and it is hard to imagine social networking sites viewing them as anything other than leeches trying to steal their page views by treating them as dumb storage systems. This is another reason why most social network services primarily focus on building widget platforms or APIs that enable you to create content or applications hosted within the site but don’t give many ways to programmatically get content out.  

Counter examples to this kind of thinking are Flickr and YouTube which both provide lots of ways to get content in and out of their service yet became two of the fastest growing and most admired websites in their respective categories. It is clear that a well-thought out API strategy that drives people to your site while not restricting your users combined with a great user experience on your website is a winning combination. Unfortunately, it’s easier said than done. ”

Another interesting read:

Why So Many Want to Create Facebook Applications  —  Site’s Growing Ranks  —  Seen as Potential Source  —  Of Revenue, Customers  —  Another online gold rush is on.  Entrepreneurs are scrambling to create small software programs for Facebook Inc.’s social-networking site and grab footholds in its emerging economy.

Source:   Wall Street Journal
Author:   Riva Richmond

Rohit Aggarwal

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