Google’s OpenSocial “a full-blown disappointment”

The man credited with inventing the term “web 2.0”, Tim O’Reilly, has savaged OpenSocial as a “full-blown disappointment” and “boring”.

Google's OpenSocial

OpenSocial is a set of common tools created by Google to allow developers to create applications for multiple social networking sites.

O’Reilly, however, is not a fan and on his blog, described it as “a fundamental failure to understand the principles of Web 2.0” which he describes as the ability to take data from one place and use it in another – the ability to send a message from MySpace to Orkut, for example or export contact lists from one social network to another.

“If all OpenSocial does is allow developers to port their applications more easily from one social network to another, that’s a big win for the developer, as they get to shop their application to users of every participating social network,” O’Reilly says.

“But it provides little incremental value to the user, the real target. We don’t want to have the same application on multiple social networks. We want applications that can use data from multiple social networks.”

He goes on to describe Google maps mashups, the ability for users to meld maps from various sources, as the model for wining the social network battle.

“Allow social data mashups. That’s what will be the trump card in building the winning social networking platform.”

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