Many are calling Google’s OpenSocial play an apparent retaliation against Facebook for their recent Microsoft deal. The reasoning is that both Microsoft and Google were bidding for a Facebook ad deal. Microsoft won, so Google is going to make Facebook, and by extension Microsoft, pay.
Perhaps it is payback, but certainly the OpenSocial strategy predates the Microsoft agreement. Not even Google could pull this whole thing off in just a few weeks.
This begs some questions:
- Did the losing proposal from Google include OpenSocial? Did it require that Facebook adopt the APIs? Did that push Facebook to Microsoft?
- Alternatively, was Facebook threatened with OpenSocial as a retaliation? That is, did Google offer to shelve OpenSocial if Facebook accepted a Google deal?
It isn’t yet clear (to me anyway) whether or not Facebook was briefed on OpenSocial. Google said yes, then no. Facebook said no, but some evidence points to them actually having known.
- Are these differing stories rooted in non-disclosure agreements dating from the failed negotiation between Google and Facebook?
- Does anyone really believe that Google would have shelved the OpenSocial strategy just for an ad deal with Facebook?
I for one do not.
For an excellent post on Facebook / OpenSocial, read Dan Farber.