Vysr Makes OpenSocial Portable — Social Networking Applications Now Usable on Any Web Site

September 29, 2008

Vysr, a Silicon Valley startup company, today announced the industry’s first, ground-breaking service that makes OpenSocial applications truly portable on its RoamAbout product, an extension for Firefox and Internet Explorer browsers. Users can now run their favorite, socially-aware applications on any Web site while connected to their choice of friend networks or “social graphs,” including those from Facebook and Orkut, without having to return to a social networking site. Vysr RoamAbout’s support for OpenSocial is another big step toward the emerging user-centric Web, empowering users to tap their favorite applications and take their social networks with them while interacting with any Web site.

“As Web applications become increasingly socially-aware, users have a need to break out of chains that confine them to a specific Web site and use these applications anywhere on the Web,” said Guda Venkatesh, CEO of Vysr. “For example, if they are reading something interesting on a news site, they shouldn’t have to go back to any of their social networking sites to share it with friends or depend on the news site to necessarily provide that functionality for all of their social networks. We already take our address books anywhere we go, so social networks are just extensions of that paradigm.”

Championed by Google and other social networks, including MySpace, Hi5, LinkedIn, Bebo and Ning, OpenSocial is a set of common application programming interfaces (APIs) for Web-based social network applications. Examples of OpenSocial applications include services that allow users to rate and share their favorite movies, books, or news articles with their friends. Applications using the OpenSocial APIs will interoperate with any social network that supports OpenSocial, which helps the developers write their applications once for all participating OpenSocial networks. While this is a significant advance toward openness, users are still forced to return to a social networking site to access their favorite OpenSocial applications.

With RoamAbout, in contrast, OpenSocial applications now become completely portable, allowing users to take advantage of them wherever they are on the Web. RoamAbout lets OpenSocial applications interact with their social networking sites remotely, including sites that do not currently participate in OpenSocial such as Facebook. Vysr RoamAbout accomplishes this by becoming an OpenSocial “container” for any social network, in effect separating where the application is used from the social network to which it connects.

“RoamAbout is equally liberating for application developers,” added Venkatesh. “OpenSocial lets developers write their applications once for all participating OpenSocial sites. By registering these applications for the RoamAbout platform, they can also leverage the social graphs of Facebook and other social networks that don’t support OpenSocial. With Facebook’s huge membership, this will drive far more usage of a developer’s applications.”

Vysr has demonstrated an OpenSocial application, called Fetch, as a proof-of-concept to demonstrate the power of using the RoamAbout platform to make OpenSocial applications portable for users and developers alike. Fetch allows users from Facebook to quickly check if they have new messages, pokes, friend requests and status updates, and shared information such as photos or news articles while browsing on any web site. It can also use the contextual information of the page to display relevant social network information. For example, users can easily lookup all of his or her friends from the city mentioned on a web page. Fetch will eventually be able to access other major social networking sites and will be available soon on RoamAbout.

Developers who have already written OpenSocial applications can register themselves at http://developer.vysr.com/ to learn how to make their OpenSocial applications portable on RoamAbout.

About Vysr

A pioneer in applications for the new “user-centric Web,” Vysr provides consumers with a new way to browse the Web, enabling them to tap their favorite Web services and social networks wherever they go on the Web. The company was founded by Guda Venkatesh, a visionary with 20 years of experience in the presence and communications industry, who originated the concepts of Presence and Availability Management (PAM). While at Alcatel-Lucent’s Bell Labs, he led the development of presence and availability standards as the founder of the industry consortium PAM Forum. Prominent technologist, entrepreneur, and Google Research Team founding member, Rajeev Motwani, sits on Vysr’s advisory board. Vysr is privately funded by several influential Silicon Valley angle investors, including Ron Conway, The Sandhill Group, and Mark Sherman of Battery Ventures. Vysr also has venture funding from Venture East. For more information, please visit www.vysr.com.

Vysr and Vysr RoamAbout are trademarks or registered trademarks of Vysr, Inc. All other trademarks or registered trademarks are properties of their respective owners.

 Contact: Eric Doyle Director, Integrated Media Campaigns 415-531-0212 eric at theconversationgroup dot com  


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