Build critical mass on your website
Leave it to our friends at Google to continue to continue to lead the way with innovative thinking. This time around, it involves social media and having lost bids for a percentage of Facebook and with Yahoo owning del.icio.us Google's entry into social media is long overdue. Behold the Google 'Social Graph API'!
With so many websites to join, users must decide where to invest significant time in adding their same connections over and over. For developers, this means it is difficult to build successful web applications that hinge upon a critical mass of users for content and interaction. With the Social Graph API, developers can now utilize public connections their users have already created in other web services. It makes information about public connections between people easily available and useful.
"If Google's vision proves appealing and social data loses its linkage to a specific social site, Facebook and MySpace may find their ability to retain users substantially diminished. Without the added value of social graph exclusivity, Facebook and MySpace become merely providers of Web hosting for the HTML averse. It's doubtful Facebook could sustain a valuation of $15 billion were it pitched as 'Geocities, but with widgets.' "
Only public data
The API returns web addresses of public pages and publicly declared connections between them. The API cannot access non-public information, such as private profile pages or websites accessible to a limited group of friends.
Based on open standards
Google currently index the public Web for XHTML Friends Network (XFN), Friend of a Friend (FOAF) markup and other publicly declared connections. By supporting open Web standards for describing connections between people, web sites can add to the social infrastructure of the web.