Thursday, December 20, 2007

Google' Universal Activity Streams

Google's OpenSocial will include support for "universal activity streams," which sound a lot like Facebook's Beacon feeds in that they dump your actions across all OpenSocial partners into a unified feed. Longtime readers may recognize this as an evolution of the lifestreams concept that has been floating around for a decade. And in fact it appears to have a more direct connection  with a project at Carnegie-Mellon called Socialstream.

The big difference with Beacon is that the universal activity streams are not to be commercial in nature. So theoretically it won't broadcast when you buy that Tears for Fears album.

Launch expected in February or March.
These “universal activity streams” are meant to combine all actions you take online, similar to Facebook’s Beacon, and present them as a line of text in your personal activity feed on Google or an OpenSocial partner site like MySpace or Bebo. Within Google, for instance, these feeds could appear in Gmail, iGoogle, or Google Reader. The universal activity stream is expected to launch around February or March of next year. [...]

For Google, “activity streams” were always part of the plan. In fact, developers already can create similar “activity streams” for their applications. Since launch, OpenSocial’s documentation (see here) has always included support for activity streams that report on a user’s action to whatever host the developer chooses. They are consumable through a widget based on OpenSocial’s activity stream API. But Google currently specifies that these streams are not to be commercial in nature[.]
Google Poaching Beacon Partners For “Universal Activity Stream”

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