theodp writes "'The web is better when it's social,' declared Google as it unveiled its OpenSocial initiative. Sounds great, right? Well, maybe not so much, unless you're keen on giving companies the capability to 'exponentially' bombard you with advertising across all of your social networking sites. On Thursday, the USPTO published Google's patent application for Propagating Promotional Information on a Social Network, which the search giant explains 'generally relates to creating and providing promotional information (e.g., advertising, public service announcements, etc.) to users of a social network (e.g., FACEBOOK, MYSPACE, ORKUT, LINKEDIN, TWITTER, etc.).' By doing so 'across multiple social networks,' Google adds, 'the impact of the other promotional information may exponentially expand to other users of a social network.'"