Google has officially launched OpenSocial. The OpenSocial links are now active and there’s some reasonable content up there. They have set up a sandbox for developers to play with, building OpenSocial apps for Orkut. The OpenSocial platform has been built on top of Google Gadgets, so there's a fairly deep framework already in place. Meanwhile, MySpace and Bebo have joined the party, significantly growing the potential installed user base.
Here’s a quick roundup of what others have to say:
Ning founder (and OpenSocial participant) Marc Andreesen says “What a world we live in. Developers of Open Social apps will have distribution to 200 million users. I'm sorry, I know I'm supposed to be cynical about this stuff, but that's astonishing.”
Mike Arrington seems to have bought into the Google hype: "Google may have just come out of nowhere and checkmated Facebook in the social networking power struggle."
Meanwhile Dave Winer responds that “Google has a long way to go to build the base of users and developers connected using the new protocol that is the subject of all this chest-thumping. Do they exist in any tangible form? How much of a moving target are they? It's like proclaiming the new owners of A-Rod's contract as the winners of the 2008 World Series.”
With all of the announcements flying about, there has been silence from Yahoo throughout. I’d previously suggested that Yahoo was the big loser in the Facebook war; now, with OpenSocial in the mix, it seems clear that’s the case. According to Robert Scoble “As to Yahoo and Microsoft? Well, I talked with an executive from Yahoo today and he said he had nothing to announce. Translation: we have no clue. If they had a clue they would have had all guns blazing today. Now their choice is to join up. The industry support is too strong behind Open Social. Or, they could make a deal with Facebook on their “embrace and extend” strategy.”
The video from the Google announcement, at Google Campfire One, is available here.