OpenSocial’s First Task: Easy Facebook Import

    October 31, 2007
    WebProNews Staff

Unless Google can make it smoother than a bucket of AstroGlide to get all of a person’s Facebook contacts over to its OpenSocial platform, they could find audience-building an uphill battle.

OpenSocial's First Task: Easy Facebook Import
OpenSocial’s First Task: Easy Facebook Import

Ever since Facebook opened itself to anyone who wanted to join, plenty of people have done so. Upon arrival, they have added their friends, who added friends of their own, in an ongoing accumulation of contacts all nestled within the Facebook contact list.

Hitwise analyst Bill Tancer thinks tying together Google’s partners – LinkedIn, Plaxo, Friendster, and Hi5 – with Orkut and the OpenSocial development platform merits attention to one important task upfront if they want to challenge Mark Zuckerberg and Microsoft on the social networking fields:

As far as the future, as we’ve learned in the 2.0 space category leadership can change in a matter of weeks. Facebook’s clear defense is the entrenchment of users and the pain of switching. If Google’s new group can build an app to port-over all my Facebook friends it would go a long way towards breaking down barriers-to-entry.

Even if they make it easy to move to the OpenSocial platform, we wonder if people will want to do so. Google and its partners have to offer some truly compelling reasons to do so.

They may think the openness of the platform and the creativity of developers working on applications for it will be the carrot to lead people to OpenSocial’s destinations, but people found Facebook a must-visit destination long before Facebook’s development platform arrived.