MySpace and Facebook have long been two warring sides of the social networking coin. Since Facebook’s inception in February 2004 and its opening up to high schoolers in 2005, MySpace and Facebook have been locked in competition. One recent development that has upped the ante is the launch of Facebook Apps in May 2007, allowing the implementation of thousands of user-created applications that interact with Facebooks features.
In November 2007, MySpace partnered with Google to launch OpenSocial, which would allow any developer - big, small or independent - to begin creating open source widgets for MySpace. Recently, Yahoo has joined the two, meaning that applications developed for OpenSocial will now be able to be used between MySpace, Google and Yahoo, creating a powerful triumvirate of Web 2.0 giants.
Facebook, however, has refused to join the OpenSocial initiative, instead standing by its own proprietary platform. What does this mean? For one, it means that while Google and MySpace and Yahoo are joining forces, Facebook remains in opposition, standing as the lone pioneer and giant with its nearly 24,000 applications created solely for Facebook. But with this new concerted effort, Facebook may be forced to respond to Google’s call for openness.
In fact, very recently, Facebook has already begun to do so, with its Facebook Open Platform dubbed fbOpenn. While not as extensive as Google’s OpenSocial, fbOpenn releases “most” of Facebook’s code as open source with the hopes of increasing the proliferation and ease-of-use of Facebook applications.
What it all boils down to is this: competition is good. With Facebook constantly battling to become bigger and better, MySpace and Google will respond in kind, meaning a steady stream of new innovative, user-friendly MySpace layouts, widgets, features and more are guaranteed.