Google held a super secret meeting with a select few developers behind closed doors yesterday -- I guess the NDA wasn't enough to keep attendees from talking to Michael Arrington though. The meeting, according to Michael, outlined Googles plans to develop an open API that will eventually expose social graphs to any application that wants it.
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.
Google knows our relationships well. It is relatively trivial for them to analyze data found in their many services like Orkut and Gmail -- both of wich give Google a pretty clear picture of who we know. We're already seeing signs of social applications coming from Google with applications like "Google Shared Stuff" that I blogged about yesterday. In fact, I think Google Shared Stuff is the first Google application that uses this top secret API that will be publicly launched on November 5th.
Soon, hopefully anyone will be able to create services that mash up these exposed social networks -- if it's as easy to use as I hope, we could see a new breed of social network sites crop up sometime soon after the 5th of November.