Social Networking Challenges Identified by Industry Leaders in W3C Workshop

Author(s) and publish date


Report Highlights Need for Interoperable Distributed Social Web Framework -- 3 February 2009 -- Participants in W3C's Workshop on the Future of Social Networking announced a number of important observations in a report issued today:

  • By enabling users to share profiles and data across networks, social networking sites can grow further and open possibilities for a decentralized architecture for the Social Web.
  • Contextual information, especially for mobile device users, can significantly enrich the social networking user experience.
  • Many users remain unaware of the impact of social networking on their privacy.
  • Though growing rapidly, social networking sites (especially their business models) are hampered by lack of interoperability and could benefit from micropayment solutions.
  • Many social networking sites have yet to take into account the special requirements of users with disabilities, and users on mobile devices.

The report, issued by the fifty-five organizations that participated in the 2-day Workshop, also suggested as next steps for W3C to create an Incubator Group for further discussion on this topic.

"Now is the time for the diverse social network actors out there to work together and resolve barriers to industry growth and stability," said Dominique Hazaël-Massieux, W3C's Mobile Web Initiative Activity Lead. "All social networks users, and especially young people, expect the richest possible social experience, but with full mobility, accessibility, and privacy."

W3C welcomes interest in discussions about how W3C can build community around social networking interoperability. Interested parties can use the public mailing list or contact Dominique Hazaël-Massieux <>.

About the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C)

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) is an international consortium where Member organizations, a full-time staff, and the public work together to develop Web standards and guidelines designed to ensure long-term growth for the Web. Over 400 organizations are Members of the Consortium. W3C is jointly run by the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (MIT CSAIL) in the USA, the European Research Consortium for Informatics and Mathematics (ERCIM) headquartered in France and Keio University in Japan, and has seventeen outreach offices worldwide. For more information see


Contact Americas, Australia --
Ian Jacobs, <>, +1.718.260.9447
Contact Europe, Africa and the Middle East --
Marie-Claire Forgue, <>, +33.492.38.75.94

Related RSS feed