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Google's social net to launch tomorrow

If you can't beat 'em, join 'em. In this case, the "them" is Facebook. Microsoft joined them. Google wants to beat them.

Tomorrow, Google will launch its new social networking API, called OpenSocial, with a host of high-value social networking players already at the party. The most significant of these players are LinkedIn, Salesforce, and Orkut, who've all been around quite a while and have substantial vertical popularity: LinkedIn in the business work, Salesforce in CRM applications, and Orkut as a South-American MySpace-killer. Even Friendster, which has become a sort-of also-ran with a great brand name, has joined the party. Perhaps these relatively peripheral social nets see Google as their ticket to competing with MySpace and Facebook.

Like Facebook, Google's API will provide participants with options for dealing with user profiles and events. But unlike Facebook, OpenSocial will really on commonplace JavaScript to do the API's bidding. Facebook uses it's own "FBML" specification, which means it can't be used off of the Facebook system. Google's intention is to get as many third-party social nets supporting OpenSocial as possible. And developers will flock to anything that saves them from having to re-develop their widgets for a dozen different social nets.

Tags: facebook, google, myspace, opensocial, social networking, SocialNetworking