Lee Odden

Poll: Will OpenSocial “Maka-Maka” Facebook Obsolete?

The hot potato in social media this week is the OpenSocial web standards initiative (see screenshots here) promoted by Google involving numerous social applications, platforms and partners including: Ning, LinkedIn, Friendster, Oracle, Plaxo, Orkut, Salesforce, iLike, and Slide. Reported first on TechCrunch, “OpenSocial is a set of three common APIs, defined by Google with input from partners, that allow developers to access core functions and information at social networks”. That information includes: profiles, friends and activities.

A distinguishing feature of OpenSocial is that applications will be created with normal HTML and JavaScript. Facebook requires development using it’s own markup language making the apps unusable elsewhere. With the recent $240 million Microsoft investment in Facebook and a $15 billion valuation, the stakes are very high. Some say OpenSocial isn’t really opening any doors or isn’t a threat to Facebook. What say you?

reader poll

The $15 Billion Dollar Social Networking Question: Will OpenSocial be a Facebook Killer?

  • No (64%, 30 Votes)
  • Yes (28%, 13 Votes)
  • It depends - see my comments (9%, 4 Votes)

Total Voters: 47

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You’ll find a lot more news at Techmeme with the official announcement to happen later today.

PoorSo SoOKGoodAwesome (5 votes, average: 4.60 out of 5)

Lee Odden About Lee Odden

@LeeOdden is the CEO of TopRank Marketing and editor of Online Marketing Blog. Cited for his expertise by The Economist, Forbes and the Wall Street Journal, he's the author of the book Optimize and presents internationally on B2B marketing topics including content, search, social media and influencer marketing. When not at conferences, consulting, or working with his talented team, he's likely running, traveling or cooking up something new.


  1. With Google backing Open Social, and its comprehensive platforms, applications, and wide array of partners, I believe the may create a moderate amount of competition for Facebook but in no way will it be a threat. I do not believe that OpenSocial will even come close to threatening Facebook’s center-stage status among social networking sites, which only continues to grow in scope especially with the recent financial investment made by Microsoft.

  2. Apparently Google distributed the “opensocial” URL above, but it’s still not working.

    Also, the big update today is that MySpace has “joined” the OpenSocial team.

    The votes up until now have mostly been “no” but I suspect with the MySpace news, we might see some leveling.

  3. Avatar Allan Woodstrom says

    I think some voters may have misunderstood your question. This does not kill Facebook’s position as a top-tier social network worth upwards of $1 billion. Facebook will continue to grow despite this project.

    However, I think this definitely killed their $15 billion valuation. That number was based on the assumption that they would become the premier platform for social software. I don’t see that happening anymore.

  4. The perspective is time. Initially there may not be a shift of people from any social networking platform they currently use. But will the cross application of API’s elimnate the need for a platform at all.

    It seems this is the opening call to personalized, webpages where people use API’s to expand their communication beyond email and blogs. What if we posted information to an applicaton on our desktop and the information beammed to all the people in my network? What if I didn’t need to sign into a site to contact my network or grow my network? These services can all be functions of the widgets themselves.

    I think Google is working to take us out of the box, and the real “winners”, will be the appellet developers.


  1. Every social networking site + Google vs facebook | Pink Internet Marketing Blog | SEO Blog says:

    […] on the profile is generally useless and non functional. This is very exciting for developers, but I don’t think that this poses any kind of threat to the facebook platform and community. There are too many users already, and there will not be a mass migration anytime soon. While […]