OpenSocial, Buzz and the Tao of Releasing an API
Generate the Right Buzz
OpenSocial was released the 1st of November, and there was much rejoicing. Developers rushed to the official site to see what exactly Google was up to. Facebook developers everywhere crossed their fingers as the page loaded up, hoping to find a means of escape from the FBMLized, constantly-changing hell they were experiencing. Surely, Google will have the answer! This is Google we’re talking about — they wrote Gmail, remember the buzz for that launch? They’ll surely deliver! Right?
Release the right thing at the right time (or ‘First Impressions Matter’)
Don’t frustrate your developers
In theory, OpenSocial is fantastic — I will not deny that. In time, I can see that it will be a sweet little platform for writing network-independent social apps. The pressure is on, however. The VCs are probably loving this, considering what Facebook apps are worth now, and Google needs to deliver a flawless platform that is ready to whip out of the gate and crush everything in its path. Intridea will be tracking OpenSocial quite closely, stay tuned for more in-depth posts quite soon.Michael Arrington announced OpenSocial on TechCrunch two days before its official release. Prior to that, there were whispers everywhere about Google’s new social platform, but not many seemed to know what exactly was about to go down. Needless to say, this is good buzz. Two days before ‘launch’ the overwhelming mood among web developers, especially us who dwell in the realms of social networking, was one of intense (even feverish at some points) anticipation. What unfolded over the next few days, combined with what we observed of Facebook’s API venture, provides us a set of best practices that we can apply to an API release.