Vysr, which makes a toolbar plug-in for Firefox and Internet Explorer that allows quick access to various app widgets, is set to launch on Monday the capability for said toolbar platform to access Open Social apps independently of the social networks or sites where they may be installed.
Apparently, users will be able to invoke Open Social apps even when they are not on a social-network page, and most importantly, will be able to run those widget-like apps against whatever social networks they belong to, including Facebook, which does not itself support Open Social.
I'm a fan of social apps that enable people to combine their social networks however they want, which is what it sounds like Vysr is doing. However, the smartest social-networking companies are already using Open Social as simply a front-end platform, and are linking their users together across networks. Furthermore, requiring people to run a plug-in so they can access features that developers have to build special versions of their apps for is a doubly difficult proposition.
A beta of this new product was not made available to me after I talked with Guda Venkatesh, CEO of Vysr, so I will reserve final judgment on its utility. I have found Vysr's current RoamAbout extension,, somewhat useful, but I have serious doubts that it is useful enough to reach a critical mass of adopters. I also don't see a business model in it.