Opening the Social Graph

Lately the web has been buzzing with talk about the Social Graph (or Social Network Portability, as others prefer to call it).

The basic question? Who owns your social network, and how can you move it back and forth between different services and applications? (You should be the only one with complete control over your social network, I’d say.)

Why now? Google just developed an open standard to allow developers and users to access their social graph data, move it back and forth, mash it up etc. The API is live now.

Six Apart’s David Recordon shares his slides on the topic here:

If you wanna dig deeper into the topic, Ralf Bendrath has some great thoughts about it, with a focus on privacy implications.

There’s definitively something big going on. And it’s not just about Facebook potentially losing a bunch of users, or its complete dominance in the social networking sphere. This could also mean a major power shift between social networking operators and their users: Who controls the social graph data controls the networks, not the other way round. This is good news indeed.