Google Storage and the Facebook DataStore API – The New Wave of Storage

In line with my recent series on Web 3.0 and the “Social Web”, Google announced yesterday that they were going to roll up all of their storage, and offer even larger paid tiers above their free options. Google plans to give even more options for storage of your e-mail, documents, photos, and some are even saying music and videos. From the Official Google Blog:

“the Picasa team is pleased to tell you that in a few hours we’ll be rolling out extra storage that you can purchase to use across several Google products (today, Picasa Web Albums and Gmail; soon, other applications like Google Docs & Spreadsheets). That will help make storage really useful, like letting you upload lots of full resolution images to Picasa Web Albums.”

This is another big announcement. For years now I have argued that the hard drive in the future will be dead. Already, I store all my photos, documents, and mail in Google so I don’t have to worry about losing them on my computer. True, I do keep a backup on my machine, but now it has become my local machine that’s storing the backups, not a remote server or CD-ROM somewhere. Right now the majority of space on my hard drive is only devoted to music and video, and my operating system. It looks to be soon we’ll also be able to keep our CD collections, family videos, and more, all with access to Google’s rich API at the same time. I would love to see the option in Google to specify which of my stored items can be indexed for others to see – I can only imagine the repercussions for Family History were that to be enabled. Not to mention the advertising opportunities. I really look forward to seeing where they go with this.

In reading Joseph Scott’s blog, I found out that just last Monday, Facebook quietly made known a new feature they have in beta called The Facebook DataStore API on their wiki. Based on the docs, it looks as though Facebook is planning for some sort of “store anything” API on the Facebook servers. So, rather than storing user and other app information on your own servers you now have one more option.

At first I wasn’t so excited about this – I personally couldn’t think of any reasons I would want to store application and customer data on Facebook’s servers. To me Facebook is only a tool to bring more users and customers, along with more information about them to your applications outside of Facebook, or to propel a new application outside Facebook. We all learned from the Dot-Com Bust that you don’t want all of your eggs in one basket. To me this API just encouraged what I think is bad for Facebook business.

Then another thought came to mind. What if Facebook were to make your data available to other Facebook apps, should you allow it? What if Facebook were to provide an API to their API? Also, what if Facebook were providing a new way to securely store information to store in new places on your profile outside of your own profile application boxes that could be searchable by others? That, my friends, would be valuable.

We’re on the cusp of a new wave of storage. No longer do we need to worry about storage, backups, deleting our data. Not only do we need to not worry about that, but we can now share that data even easier with others! With Google, Facebook, Pownce, Mozy, and others, we’re on the verge of a new revolution, further defining Web 3.0.

If you are interested in upgrading your Google storage, you can go to:

https://www.google.com/accounts/ManageStorage

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