Although it's still unofficial, many reports show that tomorrow Google will release their new "OpenSocial" developer API. But it's more then just an API. Google plans to "out-open" Facebook with a totally new strategy of integration by opening their entire platform to third party developers. TechCrunch says:
"On November 5 we’ll likely see third party iGoogle gadgets that leverage Orkut’s social graph information - the most basic implementation of what Google is planning. From there we may see a lot more - such as the ability to pull Orkut data outside of Google and into third party applications via the APIs. And Google is also considering allowing third parties to join the party at the other end of the platform - meaning other social networks (think Bebo, Friendster, Twitter, Digg and thousands of others) to give access to their user data to developers through those same APIs."
This looks like it could turn into something big. I'll give you more reports on it over the week (if I can fit it in-between exams!), but for now rest assured that Google has the beginnings of something really big here. And I mean big. It just depends on who adopts it, but this has the potential to revolutionize the whole social and consumer-based development model of the web.