this is going to be a very interesting competition for the Social Graph between Facebook & Google. and i really wish whatever Google was launching in November was going to be available a month earlier for the Graphing Social conference i'm running in San Jose in October, but i guess we'll just have to guess at what's coming until it's here.
imho, it will be tough for Google to catchup to Facebook based on how far ahead FB already is with both their social network & platform & feed.. that said, Google does have a LOT of assets to bring to bear, in terms of both users & technology... not to mention a lot of smart people. i wouldn't normally bet on big internet companies to be able to move nimbly and out-compete smaller startups with tech & innovation, but Google has proven that as with Microsoft in the 90's, they can be both dominant & driven.
still, not to put too fine a point on it, this was really Google's (and Microsoft's & Yahoo's) game to lose -- and by 'game' i mean the opportunity to create an internet operating system / web platform for 3rd-party developers to build great apps on top of & create a rich new array of web applications & services & sites. given Facebook's relatively new position in the market, it was simply astonishing to see them leapfrog those internet 3 giants with their offering in one fell swoop (ok, maybe 2 fell swoops with the launch of News Feed last year, and Platform this summer). and they have continued to step on the gas.
what's really great about all of this is that developers are going to have a lot of choices to work with in terms of Web OS. there are a wide array of web services available from Google, Facebook, Yahoo, Microsoft, Amazon, eBay, Apple, and other internet platform companies, and still more such as MySpace, LinkedIn, & Bebo likely to enter the fray in the next few months. and after the launch of Facebook Platform, most all of them appear to be recognizing & exploring the Social Graph as a critical component of their offering.
perhaps more importantly, smaller startups like Twitter & MyBlogLog & Xobni are using platform & API strategies & the Social Graph to reach new users. a few search engine startups i've been involved with like Simply Hired & Spock are enabling simple APIs for mashing up their features as services, and another startup called Mashery where i'm an investor helps provide & enable API infrastructure for other companies... hoping i guessed right on that trend ;)
in summary: it's a great time to be a developer in Silicon Valley... or anywhere in the world, for that matter. as ballmer sez: Developers, Developers, Developers, Developers!
so Google & Facebook (& everybody else)... have at it! and may the best Web OS win.