(Image Credit: Google)
For those of you who are into the "geek world" (or at least read TechCrunch) this is probably old news, but it seems that Google may be finally releasing API's (or Application Program Interfaces) that would allow outsiders to import and export data to and from Orkut.
(TechCrunch) The short version: Google will announce a new set of APIs on November 5 that will allow developers to leverage Google’s social graph data. They'll start with Orkut and iGoogle (Google's personalized home page), and expand from there to include Gmail, Google Talk and other Google services over time.
On November 5 we'll likely see third party iGoogle gadgets that leverage Orkut's social graph information - the most basic implementation of what Google is planning. From there we may see a lot more - such as the ability to pull Orkut data outside of Google and into third party applications via the APIs. And Google is also considering allowing third parties to join the party at the other end of the platform - meaning other social networks (think Bebo, Friendster, Twitter, Digg and thousands of others) to give access to their user data to developers through those same APIs.
Google seems to be doing this in response to Facebook, which has been growing by leaps and bounds and is currently in third place globally, behind both Orkut and MySpace.
Although the "openness" of Orkut will make many developers very happy, Google should probably focus on the little things such as:
- Adding email subscription or RSS feeds to forums (so we can keep track of our many conversations)
- Replacing Orkut email with Gmail (as it has better spam filters)
- Remove the number restriction for Orkut Albums and give users space restrictions. Perhaps even replacing it with Picasa Albums would be great.
- We love the scrapbook moderation, but restricting viewing access would be nice as well.
- Record video's from one's desktop within Orkut (and have it upload directly to Google Video or YouTube).
- Make it easier to delete a "friend" (who turned out not to be so friendly) from a friend list (a button would sure be nice).
- Last (but not least) launch an "Orkut for your domain" (similar to what Blogger offered users).
That's my list of suggestions thus far. Do you guys have any other suggestions on how Google can improve Orkut that I missed?