John Battelle of Battellemedia has posted what seems to be a pre press-release by Google (dated 1st November 2007), announcing the launch of a new platform called Open social which aims at creating "a set of common APIs for building social applications across the web -- for developers of social applications and websites that want to add social features."
In a separate post, the blogosphere Mecca, Techcrunch initially put the launch date on November 5th with a killer concept that will effectively ruin Facebook's life (and incidentally wipe out the smile on Mark Zuckerberg's face) - allow approved third parties to both push and pull data, into and out of Google and non-Google applications.
However yesterday, Techcrunch confirmed that the Open Social Platform (which lived inside Google with the name maka-maka) will be launch on the 1st of November.
Only three APIs are available at launch and Google will also provide with a live developer testing ground (or sandbox on Google's own ) but in the long term, Google wants Open Social to become a closed solution, something that a blogger calls, one ring to bind them (social networks et al) all.
It is unknown whether big guns like Myspace, Microsoft, Amazon, Ebay, Yahoo and tier-2 social networks like Bebo or Skyrock, are going to join the group although business software firms like Salesforce.com and Oracle have joined in according to the NY Times.
The Opensocial approach is interesting indeed considering the recent Microsoft purchase of Facebook's shares which values the company at USD 15bn.
Alexa's top sites rating shows that Facebook has had the biggest jump in terms of page views and ranking while others have been stalled and stunted.
Clearly, Facebook is representing an immediate threat not only for Google but also for more specialised social network websites like Linkedin which just reached 1m members.