MySpace launched Data Availability on Thursday. The following day, FaceBook rushed to announce FaceBook Connect, and Google is expected to present Google’s Friend Connect on Monday.
This whole Data Portability thing will be a way to securely send personal profile data, including friend lists, presence/status information, etc., to third party applications. The primary benefit of these services is to allow users to maintain a single friends list and to coordinate social activities across different sites that perform different services.
Michael Arrington at TechCrunch says:
The reason these companies are are rushing to get products out the door is because whoever is a player in this space is likely to control user data over the long run. If users don’t have to put profile and friend information into multiple sites, they will gravitate towards one site that they identify with, and then allow other sites to access that data.
Google will have to catch up with MySpace and FaceBook as it doesn’t have a gigantic pool of active users like the 2 social networks sites already have. What? Google is not leading the way for once?