Google opens up social networking

50°
337w ago - Google has launched a system that will allow developers to create applications for a variety of social networks.

Developers currently have to customise their designs for a particular site with many partnering with the hugely popular Facebook.

Google's OpenSocial system will allow a wider distribution for tools like Facebook's music recommendation service iLike and its Top Friends application.

It has long been reported that Google has big ambitions in social networking.

Last week it missed out on the chance to buy a stake in Facebook with the founders choosing instead to do a deal with Microsoft.

"Facebook-fear"

Google said that around a dozen social network partners had signed up to the system, including business site LinkedIn, Friendster and Google's own social network Orkut.

Developers already onboard include Flixster, iLike and RockYou.

Unlike Facebook, OpenSocial allows developers to write in normal javascript and html with only minor adjustments needed for the code to work on its platform.

According to blog TechCrunch the plan is likely to be a big hit with developers as well as Facebook's rivals.

"Developers have been complaining non stop about the costs of learning yet another markup language for...
 

Microsoft buys stake in Facebook

50°
338w ago - Microsoft has paid $240m (£117m) for a 1.6% stake in Facebook that values the hugely popular social networking site at $15bn (£7.3bn).
Facebook spurned an offer from Microsoft's rival Google, which was also keen to invest the site.

Microsoft will also sell internet ads for Facebook outside the United States as part of the deal that took several weeks of negotiating.

Microsoft already provides banner advertising and links on the US site.

Mark Zuckerberg started the online social networking site in his Harvard University dorm room less than four years ago.

Mr Zuckerberg, 23, has indicated he would like to hold off on an initial public offering for at least two more years.

He rebuffed a $1bn takeover offer from Yahoo last year.
 

Abuse fight targets social sites

50°
339w ago - Social networking sites are being urged to do more to protect young people.

The Child Exploitation and Online Protection centre (CEOP) wants the sites to install its "report abuse" button that connects people to police.

CEOP research shows some sex offenders are starting to use social network sites, such as MySpace, Bebo and Facebook, to seek out victims.

Jim Gamble, head of CEOP, says: "The more children go on social networks, the more offenders follow them."
 

Spotlight on Scotland: Second life for skills

50°
339w ago - "Second Life for jobs? Get yersel' a first one, hen," would be the pragmatic comment of Glaswegians. Just so did an Edinburgh paper advise 'tone it down' to a recruiting story a decade ago where a print job ad, carried only the company's web address.

But savvy job-hunters know Facebook and MySpace have job hire employer pages, and that Hewlett-Packard and Microsoft recently joined TMP ad-recruitment in a Second Life (SL) virtual job fair. It changes some interview rules. SLifers are to take care choosing and dressing their avatars, that offer social clues and signals, they need manipulation skills to sit, rather than float, and should not 'shout' by typing capitals.' Final caveat, many job hunters missed interviews by mixing up time zones.
 

Facebook opens profiles to public

50°
345w ago - Popular social networking site Facebook has added a public-facing search function in a move which is likely to anger privacy advocates. The function will initially allow anyone who is not registered with the site to search for a specific person.

More controversially, in a month's time, the feature will also allow people to track down Facebook members via search engines such as Google.
 

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