I was interested to hear about Google’s OpenSocial API. They have cleverly stepped in to address the proliferation of social networks with different standards and made themselves the central connecting point.
Despite the global popularity of sites such as MySpace and Facebook, the rest of the social network market has been fragmented into a Long Tail which makes it difficult to target a wide range of people in a cost-effective way. The new API will be a master key to unlock easy access to the whole range of networks participating in this initiative.
Having said that, I don’t really forsee a major problem targetting the Singapore market specifically, as most of us are probably on Friendster (the older ones), Multiply, Xanga, Facebook (the latest craze) while the more professional networkers are on LinkedIn. Correct me if you think otherwise. However, if we’re ‘kiasu’ (afraid to lose out) we’d welcome the OpenSocial API – isn’t it always better to know that we could unlock many other networks now?
Facebook in particular is going to be very interesting over the next year as we move beyond creating Facebook groups and start developing our own apps. A good app has viral marketing potential as it gets forwarded to friends and integrates itself onto personal profile pages, becoming part of that user’s identity – at least until the user gets tired of it and uninstalls it. The app has to be well thought through, if not I’d rather not attempt one at all!
We have a Facebook group for Singapore developers, do join if you haven’t already. There’s an OpenSocial Initiative group on Facebook, and an official forum.
If you happen to be a Facebook developer, drop me a note. It’s a new market but we have some ideas.