Walls Coming Down for Social Networking Sites

Are walled-off social networks disappearing? AdAge points out that three announcements, all within a week of each other, were indicative of the same trend: that the future of online social networking doesn’t live within a single entity’s walls but instead permeates the web:

“MySpace, Facebook and Google each announced similar-sounding moves over the past week that will be worth paying attention to as marketers watch to see how the social web evolves.” It played out as follows:

– On May 7th, MySpace said it was opening its profile data to third-party sites.

– On May 9th, Facebook said it would let users hook Facebook accounts to third-party applications and websites, and that developers can now incorporate friend data into other sites and applications.

– Today, Google is announcing FriendConnect, which lets Web site owners hook in Web-based social networking applications.

It will be interesting to see how this affects Google searches, and whether investors think that the social networks are giving up their prized data unnecessarily, or if it will help them leverage it better for ad revenue.