All hail the hive mind
This Thursday Google is expected to announce its plans for a splashy foray back into social networking.
The search giant is looking to "out-Facebook Facebook" by unveiling an open-standard for developers to write programs and applications that work, not only on Google's Orkut, but also Friendster, LinkedIn, Ning and Plaxo, reports The New York Times.
The "OpenSocial" standard, as it's been dubbed, is intended to dismantle social networking's walled gardens once and for all, yielding utilities that cross platforms instead of augmenting just one.
Plans for OpenSocial reportedly pre-date Microsoft's victory in the bidding war for Facebook.
By partnering with other sites, Google gains access to a reported 100 million-plus users, more than double the amount of users on Facebook.
Many developers who created some of the most popular Facebook apps are expected to adopt the OpenSocial standard. These include Slide, Flixster, iLike, and RockYou.
This week Google also announced the development of Maka-Maka, a social network that will implement OpenSocial while connecting people across its other online properties.