Viacom's Flux Goes OpenSocial Compatible

John Musser
Feb. 20 2008, 12:29AM EST

As Caroline McCarthy reports, Viacom's social networking platform Flux will officially support Google's OpenSocial. The Flux platform now has a more complete developer center with documentation, sample code and support forums. We've added a new Flux API Profile to our listings with more details. The screenshot below shows a sample application and code snippet of Flux code for displaying videos.


flux

The Flux service was launched in September of last year to provide a free mechanism for partners of entertainment giant Viacom to add social networking features: "content sharing, member profiles, customized page layouts, photo and video uploads, easy technical integration" to their own sites. A user who signs up for one of the Flux sites then can use that name and password on any other Flux site. In that sense it operates like Ning - it's not a destination network, but a "network of networks," albeit one that anticipates that sites will proliferate around musical artists, record labels, media companies, DJ's, and other cultural influencers.

In November Michael Arrington reported on the feature differences between Flux and Ning from a site owner's perspective, and earlier this month he analyzed their respective traffic patterns.

Much like Facebook's FBML, Flux has its own markup language called FML, the Flux Markup Language, to simplify site management, templating of pages, and to access the social graph. In comparison with FBML, the examples offered in the developer network seem geared more towards easy page templating for collections of videos and photos, and integration with discussion forums, profiles, and blogs.

With the Flux read-only REST-based API, a developer can access the members of a community, and that member's friends, images, posts, and videos. From the site: "The Flux Data Access API (DAAPI) provides the mechanism for retrieving publicly available community data. FML uses DAAPI queries to make requests for data. The output is offered in multiple formats (XML, Atom, JSON) for convenience. The DAAPI can be used both inside the community and externally (for integration of outbound widgets and promotions)."

Flux can be used at three different levels: fShare for external widget distribution of content from a Flux community, Flux Lite for simple member profiles, and Flux Custom for the full suite of tools.

John Musser

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[...] ‘White Label’ (you can rebrand them) social networks that have adopted or agreed to offer the OpenSocial Protocol Orkut (of course, since they’re owned by Google) KickApps (read more) Ning (OpenSocial Directory) Pluck (read more) Flux (read more) [...]