Most tech companies and apparently non tech companies too have something called “Fear of Google” where some of them are just frozen to the spot about Google coming along and obliterating their business. Up to a few months ago, Google probably didn’t fear anyone but now, well now it is becoming quite apparent that Facebook is scaring the absolute shit out of them with the leak that they are going to open up some of their systems and bring out their own social graph. Remember this is the company that killed off the API they used to have for search and replaced it with a very shitty AJAX version. Now they are going to be open and start releasing APIs again?
Here’s the brilliant Techcrunch scoop:
On November 5 weâ€™ll likely see third party iGoogle gadgets that leverage Orkutâ€™s social graph information – the most basic implementation of what Google is planning. From there we may see a lot more – such as the ability to pull Orkut data outside of Google and into third party applications via the APIs. And Google is also considering allowing third parties to join the party at the other end of the platform – meaning other social networks (think Bebo, Friendster, Twitter, Digg and thousands of others) to give access to their user data to developers through those same APIs.
And that is a potentially killer strategy. Facebook has a platform to allow third parties to build applications on Facebook itself. But what Google may be planning is significantly more open – allowing third parties to both push and pull data, into and out of Google and non-Google applications
Starting with the godawful Orkut though? We’ll see. I really can’t see Google being as open as has been mentioned above though. There’ll be a twist no doubt and where does this feed into search or more importantly, spamming people with ads? Still, this looks like it could be a lot of fun. If they are opening to everyone, hell maybe Facebook can suck it all into their site too. Thanks for getting us even more traffic Google! That would be funny.
Update: Great comments from Danny Sullivan. Google is YEARS away. Maybe too far for catchup?