Ning Gets In On the OpenSocial Initiative
Ning has followed in the footsteps of other social networking services like MySpace, Friendster, Bebo, and Hi5, and started to integrate with Google Code initiative OpenSocial, the platform that "defines a common API for social applications across multiple websites."
Ning, for those unfamiliar is not so much a social network, but a platform from which others to create their own social networks. Kyle Ford at the Ning Blog highlights the following features of the company’s integration with OpenSocial:
– The OpenSocial directory on each network automatically inherits the branding and visual design of that network.
– OpenSocial applications on Ning can inherit the visual style of the member profile page to which they’re added.
– OpenSocial applications are automatically integrated into a network’s viral loops. The ability for OpenSocial applications to write to a member’s latest activity feed, send messages on behalf of the member and spread using a network’s default viral sharing options are all there by default.
"Ning is considering integration with Facebook’s platform," writes Venture Beat’s Eric Eldon. "Facebook, however, has been internally debating how to fully open its platform; in the meantime, Ning has focused on OpenSocial integration." Facebook integration would surely be a smart move for Ning. Friendster went this route just last week, and with Facebook looking to expand global operations, it’s probably as good a time as any to jump on board with them.
OpenSocial will provide a great deal of usefulness for Ning users though. The more applications that are available to integrate into a user’s own social network, the more value that network will potentially have for users of that.