Google releases code to help make social data portable

New API will let developers more easily link data created on social networks

Google has unveiled a new API that it hopes will make data created by users of social networks portable.

The Social Graph API makes information about the connections people have with each other on different Web sites easily available, said Brad Fitzpatrick, a Google software engineer. Once the data is available, developers can solve the problem of requiring users to search for and add friends to new social applications and sites every time they join them, noted Fitzpatrick in a blog post.

"[The new API] makes information about the public connections between people on the Web easily available and useful," he wrote. "You can make it easy for users to bring their existing social connections into a new website and as a result, users will spend less time rebuilding their social networks and more time giving your app the love it deserves."

This is better than asking users to search for and add their friends - because they likely will tire of the chore if its required for very social network, he added.

The API, unveiled late last week, crawls the Web to find publicly declared relationships between people's accounts, just like Google crawls the Web for links between pages, Fitzpatrick explained. But instead of returning links to HTML documents, the API returns data structures representing the social relationships discovered. When a user signs up for a new application, a developer can use the API to remind them who they're friends with on other sites and ask them if they want to be friends on the new site, Google said.

Social Graph marks Google's latest effort to make content created on social networks more easily shareable across the Web. Last month, Google and Facebook both announced plans to join the Data Portability Project, which is working on standards to allow user-generated content to be more easily shared among social networking sites.

Josh Catone, a blogger at Read Write Web, noted that the Google API could be an important tool in the data portability movement because "it allows users to find and evaluate their public social connections and take control of that information. As more and more users are beginning to suffer the effects of 'social networking fatigue,' anything that helps automate and make easier the process of adding your existing connections to a new network is a useful tool."

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Heather Havenstein

Computerworld
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?