ILike’s Hi5 application lets you post songs and videos to your Hi5 profile. This is similar to iLike’s popular Facebook application.
ILike’s strategy is to build social music applications across social networks — Facebook, Hi5, and the rest — then let musicians communicate with their fans across all of these networks (our coverage). OpenSocial is designed to allow applications to work on multiple social networks without extra development effort. To iLike, Hi5 is an untapped market and OpenSocial is the tap.
The Seattle, Wash.-based iLike has also recently introduced applications designed for musicians on Facebook, to let them upload their discographies and communicate with their fans. Note: Facebook, as we’ve written, has itself been working on what appear to be competing music applications.
Hi5 had previously promised to host third-party applications within the next year, so this is quick work, as Nick O’Neill points out.
Still, iLike is the largest company experimenting with music and these social networking applications. It has nearly half a million daily active users on Facebook.
Qloud, meanwhile, is one of the others. Its Hi5 application lets you listen to and share your iTunes libraries from within Hi5, or Facebook or Friendster. It is a smaller and less polished application than iLike. The biggest problem with the application is its iTunes sidebar, where you add music from iTunes that will appear within these networks. This sidebar is slow and has made iTunes less responsive on this reporter’s computer.
These applications are the first snowflakes of a blizzard. There will no doubt be many announcements about OpenSocial applications. Thousands of Facebook applications launched since May will be trying to find a home on OpenSocial. We won’t cover many of them, because most will have poor design or undifferentiated features. In aggregate, however, these applications are the start of something bigger — potentially.
If you believe the executives at iLike and other application developers, these social networks are the future of digital media, the main places where people communicate, share music, play games and maybe even get some work done in the coming years.