One day after the big OpenSocial announcement, Google added a little afterthought: MySpace the 640-pound social-networking gorilla, Bebo another huge social-Web player, and the very longstanding SixApart were joining too. As a PCWorld blog put it, "now that changes everything." This isn't so much about Facebook users at your house – users won't be going anywhere because of this news. What it's about is those popular little add-on software programs called widgets that users love to use (for stuff like sharing tunes, putting a "bookshelf" of favorite books in your profile, or throwing virtual sheep at your friends). All those widget makers were making apps for Facebook, and now Google, MySpace and friends have serious numbers of users (aka a huge alternative market) for widgetmakers to offer their wares to. I wonder if Facebook will eventually (emphasize "eventually") have to join OpenSocial. This was a huge business story, as it has a lot to do with how sites on the social Web (as well as widget makers) will actually make money (through advertising) going forward. Here's the view from the Los Angeles Times, the Financial Times in the UK, and Welt Online in Germany.
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