Some interesting news out of Google as they address the growing popularity of Facebook. I’m not sure why Google would feel particularly threatened by Facebook, but they are planning to release some open API’s on November 5th that will allow third parties to access social graph data via Google’s Orkut service.
Orkut is really a non player in the social network world, so I’m unclear how valuable this really is. This is a first step in a larger strategy, however. Google may also be planning to encourage other social networks to allow access to their data via the same API’s, thus creating a completely open system. The Facebook platform has caused the rapid growth of that service, but if this Google initiative evolves into an open source development platform for social networks, it could level the playing field.
Maybe this is why Facebook is talking potential investment deals with Microsoft and others. If they’re going to go toe to toe with Google, they’re going to need some ammo. At this point, Google is like the old Microsoft. When they step into your playing field you should start shaking in your boots. This should be fun to watch.