In the short term, Google’s OpenSocial effort to codify a standard API for tapping into social networks probably doesn’t effectively mean much. But with support from MySpace and LinkedIn and Bebo , among others, the effort could be very significant. It leaves Facebook as the odd man out, with it’s proprietary FaceBook Markup Language.
The OpenSocial standard would allow developers to write their code once to be used on all networks that support the API, rather than having to write special code for individual networks. If OpenSocial takes off, and I think it probably will, it will help to add a great deal of value to social networks and spur innovation.
From a marketing point of view, this can only be good because it makes widget marketing a hell of a lot easier.
Robert Scobel interviewed Marc Canter today, whose company makes social networks: