Mobile social sites begin data-sharing initiative

23 Feb 2009

There are many different mobile social-networking services out there, and instead of locking down their own data, several have got together to enable users to share locations across different services.

The umbrella organization, OSLO (Open Sharing of Location-based Objects), was set up late last year with the aim of side-stepping problems that instant-messaging platforms had in the past ,whereby users of one service could not share data and converse with users of another.

Mobile social networking and location-based social software are still new areas, and the standards for this kind of technology have not yet been fully developed, so OSLO is an attempt to make sure most existing services can work together.

“OSLO is an attempt to lead interoperability before a raft of competing standards appear,” said Ronan Higgins, CEO of Irish location-based social networking site Locle.

“It should not be seen as competition to Google’s Latitude as we’ve spoken to Google, Yahoo! and Vodafone and they want to get on board.”

Founding members of this new alliance include Locle, as well as Buddycloud, Mobiluck, Moximity, Nulaz, Tooio and WAYN.

“Imagine a world where telephone networks didn’t interconnect with each other. That’s the current situation with mobile location applications,” said Simon Tennant, CEO of BuddyCloud.

“The OSLO group is exciting because it lets users share their location with friends on competing networks.

“That’s better for the user because they are more connected to the people who matter to them, and for application builders who can now create great products on top of shared location information.”

By Marie Boran