For those of you who are new to the rumored concept, Social Stream was suppose to be a social network where everyone could access everything from one social network.
Here was a video produced by the "social stream" team which goes into more detail about this rumored phenomenon. (Hat Tip: Google Operating System)
It was rumored that Google would launch something like this within Orkut, although I personally had my doubts about it working, mainly because it would only benefit Google, and not everyone else (which would translate into corporate attempts at blocking social stream from being used).
Now it looks as if the long awaited Google API's will not only turn Orkut into "a social stream," but potentially every other social network on line as well.
(TechCrunch) The new project, called OpenSocial (URL will go live on Thursday), goes well beyond what we've previously reported. It is a set of common APIs that application developers can use to create applications that work on any social networks (called "hosts") that choose to participate. [...] OpenSocial is a set of three common APIs, defined by Google with input from partners, that allow developers to access core functions and information at social networks:
- Profile Information (user data)
- Friends Information (social graph)
- Activities (things that happen, News Feed type stuff)
Hosts agree to accept the API calls and return appropriate data. Google won’t try to provide universal API coverage for special use cases, instead focusing on the most common uses. Specialized functions/data can be accessed from the hosts directly via their own APIs.
Social networks participating in this are Orkut (of course), LinkedIn, Salesforce, Plaxo, Friendster, Ning (which allows people to create their own social networks), Hi5, Viadeo (which is like and expanded version of LinkedIn) and Oracle (the last one is a bit of a puzzle to me).
MySpace and Facebook will probably not join the party any time soon (for obvious reasons), although this move by Google will definitely help out developers, many who were whining about having to learn a new code for every social network under the sun.
This should also help bring about much needed diversity within each social network empire, although I can hardly wait to see how this affects Orkut overall.
Update (11/1): Just to clarify (and eliminate confusion), the GrandCentral invites are open to US users, mainly due to the fact that GrandCentral only has US numbers available.
Hopefully they will consider India, Japan, Brazil, ect., in the future, as many users there would probably find the features to be very useful.