I've just come back from a Google Developer Breakfast. After signing the generic NDA we did indeed have breakfast. It turns out it wasn't just free breakfast for developers, they wanted to announce a little something: OpenSocial.
Eric Tholomé gave us a gentle introduction to open APIs by Google (ironically starting with the now-retired Google Search SOAP API) and ended up talking about Google Gadgets which is ridiculously popular: there are 20k gadgets, 100k sites hosting gadgets, top 63 gadgets have more than 1 million active 7-day users, top 463 gadgets have more than 100 thousand users and 50% of traffic is from outside the top 125 gadgets.
Eric showed us a "Viadeo Answers" demo application built by Viadeo in four days (they built the container in two weeks) and it seemed pretty slick and social.
Matthew (Chewy) Trewhella was going to work us through creating OpenSocial applications but the Orkut Sandbox wasn't ready yet so instead he walked us through a simple application on screen instead. It does look terrible simple indeed.
There were a bunch of questions later on like: if we write an app and deploy to 20 containers, it's this really write once, debug everywhere? Eric stressed this is version 0.5 of OpenSocial and not everything is worked out yet.
Interesting note: Facebook was not mentioned in the presentations, but it was clearly hinted at.
These aren't gadgets. These are applications. They are not toys, millions of people are spending time with these already.