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As Google Share Price Passes $700, New Social Applications APIs Loom Large

Today should see the official launch of OpenSocial, for cross-network social networking

At the end of last year the worldwide staff of Google passed the 10,000 mark for the first time; now just eleven months later a new milestone has been passed: Google shares this week hit $700 for the first time - just one month after reaching $600, in fact. It is no coincidence perhaps that the surge mirrors its involvement in preparing for today's launch of OpenSocial, described as "a set of common APIs for building social applications across the web."

Fully explained here at SYS-CON.com yesterday thanks to a meticulously detailed "pre-announcement" by Marc Andreessen, whose Ning is one of the social networks involved in the OpenSocial alliance, the set of common APIs is a response to the proliferation of unique APIs across dozens of social websites that has till now been forcing developers to choose which ones to write applications for – and then spend their time writing separately for each.
 
The idea of a Social Web has been gaining momentum rapidly, and Google's championship of OpenSocial has even raised the question of whether it isn't de facto becoming a more agile version of W3C,  leveraging its phenomenal market cap to help foster universal standards.

The company's market cap this week reached $219BN, making it for the first time ever one of America's top five companies by market cap, behind only ExxonMobil, General Electric, Microsoft and AT&T.


Google's success with APIs has already been proven by Google Gears, aimed at enabling developers to create web applications that work offline. Launched in May as an open-source browser extension, Google Gears tackled a key limitation of the browser in order to make it a stronger platform for deploying all types of applications and enabling a better user experience.

Just as Google Gears was offered as a free, fully open source technology in order to help every web application, not just Google applications, so OpenSocial will benefit the entire social networking ecosystem, and not just Google's own Orkut and iGoogle.

One of Google's mantras is: "We believe one of our chief competitive advantages is surprise."

Quod erat demonstrandum. A browse through the Related Stories links below should remind anyone who's forgotten of the velocity and variety of Google's recent history, starting with one of the apps that put AJAX on the map: Gmail. Happy reading!


More Stories By Web 2.0 News Desk

The Web 2.0 Journal News Desk keeps you up to speed with all that's happening in the world of the read/write Web and all its mushrooming new facets - from tagging, wikis, mash-ups, and image-sharing to "Advertising 2.0," podcasting, and The Writeable Web.

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