September 21, 2007
TechCrunch reports on a secret meeting that happened at Google in the last few days. It looks like Google is about to “out open” Facebook by allowing developers to leverage Google’s social graph information.
The short version: Google will announce a new set of APIs on November 5 that will allow developers to leverage Google’s social graph data. They’ll start with Orkut and iGoogle (Google’s personalized home page), and expand from there to include Gmail, Google Talk and other Google services over time.
On November 5 we’ll likely see third party iGoogle gadgets that leverage Orkut’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.
That big rumor comes on the heels of another big announcement from Six Apart about open sourcing the Web’s social graph (a la OpenID). If you thought the Web was fragmented, wait until you can start building application on top of Google, Yahoo or MSN’s social graphs…
February 2, 2007
“A crowd of advertisers, marketers, analysts and members of the press packed a ballroom at the midtown Mandarin Oriental Hotel Tuesday to hear a panel of new-media execs talk about how advertisers will have to change their modus operandi to reach young people whose lives are fueled by text messaging, MySpace.com, YouTube and a content-saturated Internet. “
- Moderator: Matthew Bishop, U.S. business editor, The Economist
- Tom McInerney, CEO, Guba (video site)
- Steven Starr, CEO, Revver (video site)
- Justin Townsend, CEO, IGA Worldwide (in-game advertising)
- Jeremy Verba, CEO, Piczo (teen-oriented social network site)
Highlights and insights:
- Verba: “The Internet is “the way they’re going to express themselves, the way they’re going to communicate, the way they’re going to buy things, the way they’re going to share things with their friends, and so on. I think it’s really a generational shift. It’s hard for us to think that way.”
- The panel: “Traditional media, from TV stations to advertisers to the print industry, really isn’t in touch with the “IM generation” of tech-savvy teenagers and college students.”
- McInerney: “I think the big thing is that you really can’t tell this generation how to use a product. Social-networking pioneer Friendster didn’t allow bands or businesses or different kinds of profiles to be created, and they really kind of forced user behavior, and when they did that, everybody kind of jumped to MySpace. MySpace was successful because it could be used differently by each user.”
- Verba: “They’re very, very quick to talk to you and tell you what they like and don’t like. (Piczo’s) users own us. We really don’t own them. They tell us every day what they want and what they don’t like. They’re very vocal…We don’t have to guess.”
- Starr: “the IM generation is probably sitting on the biggest access and level playing field that any creative generation’s ever had. However, if the playing field is really that level, it must have room for at least a handful of people over the age of 20.”
The conclusion: “It was apparent that traditional media tactics are going to have to change to meet the demands of the entire Internet, not just its younger users.”
What it means: yet another panel that talks about how we’re seeing a radical change in the way teenagers and young adults consume media. I discussed that topic in November in Web 2.0: Don’t be Caught by Surprise!