Now that Facebook has launched its Facebook Connect and Google countered with Friend Connect, surprise surprise, MySpace is launching its own effort, MySpaceID. (It was, until recently, labeled Data Availability.) MySpaceID consists of two core components: Open Standards (“The Open Stack” including OpenSocial, OAuth, and OpenID) and Google Friend Connect.
How all this works – I don’t know, and frankly, I don’t care. What it is essentially meant to do is what Facebook Connect does: act as a tool to federate and aggregate web services on the MySpace social network. It allows people to publish activities from partner sites such as Eventful, Flixster, and new partners Vodafone and Netvibes — all of which are developing MySpaceID implementations. On a grander scale, all this talk about IDs and Connects is just that — a lot of talk.
Dave Winer put it well when he wrote, “We’re seeing feature wars. That’s what’s going on between Facebook and Google, both perfectly timing the rollouts of their developer proposition to coincide with the others’ — on the very same day! I don’t even have to look at them and I am sure that they’re too complicated.”
I couldn’t have put it better myself. Google has put some seriously smart people on it social efforts, but I wonder if it can get the traction of Facebook’s community. In response to a post by George Fletcher (which was in turn a response to a post by me) someone said,
Ordinary people want the capabilities of federation, but will not tolerate the complexities of the current federation technologies – they will suffer with the current “walled garden” aggregated models, staying put until they’re fed up enough to move to another flavor of the same thing.
Ain’t that the truth. In such a world, Facebook is a winner – mostly because it has made things simpler. How will MySpaceID fare? Your guess is as good as mine.
Recommended Blog: Hueniverse, a blog penned by Eran Hammer-Lahav, Yahoo!’s Open Web Evangelist. Lots of great stuff on OAuth if you want to understand the issues and learn about the intricacies of various standards.