When Google was asked during the press conference earlier today if they had invited Facebook into OpenSocial, the answer was “yes,” and then changed to “we can’t comment, followed by “we have reached out to virtually everyone in this space” (quotes are rough, I was taking notes but not recording). Whichever one is the correct answer, the clear indication was that Google was reaching out to Facebook to join the club.
Facebook, however, says they haven’t had the pleasure. When we asked them if they were planning on joining, Brandee Barker, Director of corporate communications at Facebook, responded:
Despite reports, Facebook has still not been briefed on OpenSocial. When we have had a chance to understand the technology, then Facebook will evaluate participation relative to the benefits to its 50 million users and 100,000 platform developers.
My bet is that they join. Because suddenly Facebook is being painted as the closed outsider while everyone else is allowing the use of non proprietary coding platforms (Facebook requires the use of FBML, not HTML) and portability of applications.
How did they turn into the bad guys so quickly? As Erick says, it’s their move. But no matter what they do, Google has pulled off an absolute coup.
For their part, Google will certainly want Facebook’s participation. But they had to get everyone else on board first, before Facebook would even consider it. An open platform means no social network has any advantage over any other when it comes to third party applications. The playing field has been evened, and no one wins. Except Google. They always win.
Update: From a trusted source:
People in the know have indicated to me that Facebook and Google have been talking about OpenSocial…including today. So pleading ignorance won’t last as a strategy for dealing with the OpenSocial movement.
Dan Farber is also reporting this.