OpenSocial: now facebook is for everyone

Marc Andreessen’s always-interesting blog today talks about OpenSocial, a new standard spear-headed by Google which aims to provide a common API for embedding new web content and apps across all the main social network sites.

This is very similar to the Facebook Platform API launched a few months ago to critical acclaim, but with the significant difference that OpenSocial is an open standard which pretty much everyone else except Facebook is jumping on the bandwagon to support.

Marc’s blog does a much better job of describing the benefits than I can. In a nutshell, though, it means that if you run a website that offers a useful service, you can now easily allow it to be embedded in any of the main social networking sites (LinkedIn, Friendster, Ning, etc.) by just adding some basic HTML & Javascript support.

This should be fun…

(The official Google launch is tomorrow, at which point should become operational.)