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Title: OpenSocial  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Myspace, Google I/O, Google Friend Connect, Platform-enabled website, Apache Shindig
Collection: Application Programming Interfaces, Google, Social Networking Services
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


Initial release June 2007 (2007-06)
Stable release 2.5.0 / August 28, 2012 (2012-08-28)
Development status Active
Written in Java, PHP, C#, Javascript, HTML
Operating system Cross-platform
Type Web application framework
License Apache License 2.0
Website .org.opensocialwww

OpenSocial is a public specification that defines a component hosting environment (container) and a set of common application programming interfaces (APIs) for web-based applications. Initially it was designed for social network applications and was developed by Google along with MySpace and a number of other social networks. In more recent times it has become adopted as a general use runtime environment for allowing untrusted and partially trusted components from third parties to run in an existing web application. The OpenSocial Foundation has also moved to integrate or support numerous other open web technologies. This includes Oauth and OAuth 2.0, Activity Streams, and Portable Contacts, among others.

It was released on November 1, 2007.[1] Applications implementing the OpenSocial APIs will be interoperable with any social network system that supports them.


  • Structure 1
  • History 2
    • Development 2.1
    • Implementation 2.2
    • Criticism of Initial Release 2.3
    • Background 2.4
  • References 3
  • External links 4


Based on HTML and JavaScript, as well as the Google Gadgets framework, OpenSocial includes multiple APIs for social software applications to access data and core functions on participating social networks.[2] Each API addresses a different aspect.[3] It also includes APIs for contacting arbitrary third party services on the web using a proxy system and OAuth for security.

In version 0.9 OpenSocial added support for a tag-based language.[4] This language is referred to as OSML and allows tag-based access to data from the OpenSocial APIs that previously required an asynchronous client side request. It also defined a rich tag template system and adopted an expression language loosely based on the Java Expression Language.

Starting in version 2.0 OpenSocial adopted support for Activity Streams format [4]


Version history
Version Date
0.5 June 15, 2007
0.6[5] December 21, 2007
0.7[6] February 4, 2008
0.8[7] May 28, 2008
0.9[8] April 16, 2009
1.0[9] March 15, 2010
1.1[10] November 18, 2010
2.0[11] August 18, 2011
2.0.1[12] November 23, 2011
2.5.0[13] August 28, 2012


OpenSocial was rumored to be part of a larger social networking initiative by Google code-named "Maka-Maka",[14] which is defined as meaning "intimate friend with whom one is on terms of receiving and giving freely" in Hawaiian.[15]


Initial OpenSocial support experienced vulnerabilities in security, with a self-described amateur developer demonstrating exploits of the RockYou gadget on Plaxo, and of Ning social networks using the iLike gadget.[16]

An open source project, Shindig, was launched in December, 2007, to provide a reference implementation of the OpenSocial standards. It has the support of Google, Ning, and other companies developing OpenSocial-related software. The Myspace OpenSocial parser was released as project Negroni in January, 2011 and provides a C# based implementation of OpenSocial.

Criticism of Initial Release

Opened to much fanfare in news coverage, OpenSocial did not work well in the beginning; it only ran on Google-owned Orkut, and only with a limited number of gadgets, returning errors for other gadgets. Other networks were still looking into implementing the framework.

As reported by TechCrunch on November 5, 2007, OpenSocial was also quickly cracked. The total time to crack the OpenSocial-based iLike on Ning was just 20 minutes, according to TechCrunch, with the attacker being able to add and remove songs on a user's playlist, and to look into information on their friends.[17]

On December 6, TechCrunch followed up with a report by MediaPops founder Russ Whitman, who said "While we were initially very excited, we have learned the hard way just how limited the release truly is." Russ added that "core functionality components" are missing and that "write once, distribute broadly" was not accurate.[18]


OpenSocial is commonly described as a more open cross-platform alternative to the Facebook Platform, a proprietary service of the popular social network service Facebook.[19]

Using OpenSocket,[20][21] the user can run OpenSocial gadgets within Facebook.[22]

While OpenSocial has seen a decline in popularity among social networks, it is seeing wider adoption in enterprise companies in recent years as a plugable extension mechanism for web products. Several of the leading vendors in enterprise social networks, IBM, eXo Platform and Jive Software, based their apps strategy on OpenSocial. Cisco is essentially betting the farm on it, making their Shindig-based container, Finesse, the only option for agent desktop integration software.[23]


  1. ^ "Google Launches OpenSocial to Spread Social Applications Across the Web".  
  2. ^  
  3. ^ "OpenSocial API Documentation". Google Code. Google. Retrieved 2007-11-02. 
  4. ^ a b "OpenSocial Specification Release Notes". Retrieved 2011-08-18. 
  5. ^ Cassie Doll (2007-12-21). "OpenSocial 0.6 and Beyond". Retrieved 2007-12-21. 
  6. ^ Peterson, Dan (2008-02-04). "OpenSocial API Blog: OpenSocial 0.7: Coming to a user near you". Retrieved 2014-07-12. 
  7. ^ Peterson, Dan (2008-05-28). "OpenSocial API Blog: OpenSocial v0.8 is defined". Retrieved 2014-07-12. 
  8. ^ "OpenSocial API Blog: OpenSocial community defines version 0.9". 2009-04-17. Retrieved 2009-05-06. 
  9. ^ "OpenSocial 1.0 spec published". 2010-03-15. 
  10. ^ "OpenSocial 1.1 Published!". 2010-11-19. 
  11. ^ "Announcing the Release of the OpenSocial 2.0 Specification". 2011-08-18. 
  12. ^ "OpenSocial 2.0.1 Release Notes". 2011-11-23. 
  13. ^ "OpenSocial 2.5.0 Release Notes". 2012-08-28. 
  14. ^ Schonfeld, Erick (2007-10-29). """Google’s Response to Facebook: "Maka-Maka.  
  15. ^ "maka.maka". Nā Puke Wehewehe ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi. Ulukau: The Hawaiian Electronic Library. Retrieved 2007-11-01. 
  16. ^  
  17. ^ Arrington, Michael (2007-11-05). "OpenSocial Hacked Again".  
  18. ^ Schonfeld, Erick (2007-12-06). """OpenSocial Still "Not Open for Business.  
  19. ^ Helft, Miguel; Brad Stone (2007-10-31). "Google and Friends to Gang Up on Facebook".  
  20. ^ "OpenSocket on Facebook | Facebook". Retrieved 2013-01-11. 
  21. ^ "OpenSocket". OpenSocket. Retrieved 2013-01-11. 
  22. ^ [1]
  23. ^ Worldwide. "Finesse - Products & Services". Cisco. Retrieved 2014-07-12. 

External links

  • Official site of the OpenSocial foundation
  • Shindig Shindig is an open source implementation of the OpenSocial specification and gadgets specification.
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