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Google's orkut to launch application platform based on OpenSocial

orkut - login.jpgDoes anyone still use Orkut?

Obviously some people do and the first visit to my page in eons showed me that a couple of people I know had actually been by there recently. But in the grand "battle" between Facebook, MySpace, Bebo, etc., orkut doesn't seem to get much mention these days. I know that I joined orkut back in 2004 when it launched and you had to have an invite to get in. But a year or so later I had basically left it behind (except that my account is still there and now and then does get friend requests).

So I was a bit surprised to encounter over on Official Google Blog the post "orkut going more social" that contains this text:

"Starting this month, we're enabling developers to make their social applications available to orkut users. We'll start ramping up to more than 50 million people over the next few weeks.

To prepare for this growth, we're now accepting social applications. For a while now, developers have been able to write, test, and play with applications on orkut. Later this month, however, we're going to start rolling them out to orkut users. OpenSocial developers can submit their completed applications (deadline: Feb. 15).

To help developers ready their applications, we're offering engineering support and training. We've scheduled orkut hackathons on Feb. 14-15 from 10 am-6 pm at the Googleplex in Mountain View and via videoconference in New York. For more information or to RSVP, please email [email protected] If you can't attend, we hope to see you in the OpenSocial forums or on chat (irc://"

The post obviously has more information and the relevant links.

That Google is doing this is no surprise given their backing of the OpenSocial initiative. It is interesting to see the note about "ramping up to more than 50 million people". Is that the current number of active orkut users? If the Wikipedia entry is accurate (that states 67 million users in August 2007) that would certainly be plausible.

Regardless, it is great to see another social network indicating that they will have working support of OpenSocial apps soon. The more there are, the more incentive it is for app developers to develop for OpenSocial.

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