I’ve been thinking over the last few weeks there are a few thing that are going to be happening in the social networking space.
Here’s a few predictions how the Social Networking sites will evolve:
-Facebook will launch an Identity widget that I can embed on my blog. This allows only those who have registered to Facebook to leave a comment, many high profile blogs will do this, to avoid nasty anonymous comments, thus reducing the incident of Kathy Sierra type events. Dave Winer is right. Update: here’s an example of a website that requires a Facebook login to access. Link from Jay.
-The data collected from these widgets ables Facebook to erode the small marketshare that Attention trackers and MyBlogLog are creating.
-Facebook will have faster adoption that Open ID, as the consumer users will drive it. (Remember the mantra of consider joining before creating communities)
-MySpace will open their platform and enable development with their APIs, all in response to Facebook. Developers will have instances in both networks, and there will be many logins; Myspace, Facebook, and the applications themselves.
-White Label social networks (the master list I started some time ago) will start to offer ability to share data with other networks. Some will never adopt this as their corporate clients want walled gardens around their brand. Additional thoughts by Marc Canter.
-Google Groups and Yahoo groups will launch next generation community sites, these won’t be the generic bulletin boards that we’re accustomed to, but will take shape as widgetized and customized communities, using APIs.
-LinkedIn, Plaxo and other social networks will catch on a bit later, and deploy APIs. While some of these networks appear to be threats at first, the ability to expand into new communities greatly helps them. Last night over dinner in Singapore, I learned there is greater adoption of tools like xing (I think that’s what they said) in Europe and Asia.
-AOL finally catches on an releases APIs for it’s massive online community that’s existed for many years. It takes a long time to educate and convince the internal powers that be to do this, ROI is never fully measured.
-Facebook’s identity system continues to grow, it shares data with those that have used the widget, users, and of course marketers.
I’ve been talking about the web being amorphous and ubiquitous since 2005, I think we’ll start to see elements of this in 2007.
All of the above are just my theories, I’d love to hear what you think.
Update: Interesting, Christopher at Slate suggests that Facebook could become THE platform, while I suggest others will evolve and play in this space, there’s too much at stake really.