2007.11.06

The MetaSocial

Yahoo! seems to have yet another social networking site in the works, after the failed 360° and the still in beta mash. Its name is Kickstart. This new network seems to position itself somewhere between LinkedIn and the original Facebook, trying to map student relationships and match them to employer requirements. I really fail to see why and how Yahoo! might ever think that segmenting their efforts to enter the social networking market has a higher probability of success than just developing a good, well-designed and well-engineered social networking site to compete face on with Facebook, Google’s OpenSocial or Myspace. I find their efforts completely irrelevant and — sadly — doomed to fail. With such a crowded market I can see why Google opted to create a platform rather than prop its largely mediocre, fizzled out Orkut network.

Yet everytime I log into Facebook and see notifications of my ‘friends’ finding their friends through the ‘Friend Finder’ I keep remembering how Facebook also volunteers to log into your email accounts, retrieve the names of the people you know and automatically search for them and send them an ‘invitation’ for you. And everytime I think of this I keep wondering. If Facebook can connect to another service with your account (and your permission), what’s stopping the creation of a MetaSocial Network. A network to which you provide the login details for all of the major social networks out there for which you already have accounts, it automatically logs in and accesses your profile information, including your friend list and incorporates everything in a single, beautiful environment. Moreover, what’s stopping anyone from replicating the Facebook API and offering the same services on their own network, after retrieving the details from your account using the login and password you provided during the ‘migration’ step of a registration wizard? A Facebook API clone.
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