OpenSocial Gets AOL
In the apparent battle between Google’s OpenSocial and Facebook, Bebo more or less threw up its hands and joined both sides. Now its new corporate parent, AOL, is backing OpenSocial.
AOL’s $850 million acquisition of Bebo was officially completed just nine days ago, so in one sense, the aging corporation has acted pretty quickly. In another, it was terribly slow – most other OpenSocial members joined the group last year, and even Yahoo stepped forward in early March.
Ah, well. In any event, while reporting live from Google I/O this afternoon, Mark Hendrickson wrote, "AOL joins OpenSocial today. Their suite of products will support the standard." David Glazer, Google’s vice president of engineering, was behind the statement.
This news caused Hendrickson’s colleague, Erick Schonfeld, to ask, "So is AOL just hedging its bets in the social network wars? Looks like it. With Facebook planning to open-source its platform, it will be interesting to see if AOL shows up as a partner for fbOpen as well."
AOL’s PR reps would have to really talk up the aren’t-we-all-friends aspect of such a development, however, if the company has any intention of appearing less than desperate.