Yesterday, Google announced that OpenSocial has been delayed yet again. Rather than launching the Orkut platform immediately, they have decided to enter a testing phase during which time they will begin whitelisting applications to be placed in the Orkut directory. After the pre-launch which will be a four week period, OpenSocial and the Orkut platform will finally go live.
For those that were expecting Orkut to go live next week, you will be disappointed. There is no word on whether or not this will also delay the launch of the MySpace platform which is also supposed to launch next week. The launch of Orkut and MySpace will launch the beginning of the platform wars during which time we will see if Facebook can maintain its dominant position or if the larger MySpace user base will prove to be a tough competitor.
Ultimately, the future of transportable identities will be partially dependent on the success of competing social platforms. If the other social platforms fail to attract massive user installations, we will see a decrease in the hype surrounding social applications. The most likely scenario involves slower yet steady growth on competing platforms due to spam filters already in place at launch time. This is not a bad situation, it just means that the social platforms will take a longer time to see widespread adoption.