Yahoo, MySpace Join OpenSocial

Facebook not joining

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Yahoo and MySpace said today they are teaming up with Google to form the OpenSocial Foundation that Google started last year to promote a universal standard for developer applications on social networking sites.

OpenSocial Foundation
 Joe Kraus – Director Of Google’s Product Management
(Photo Credit: CNN)

The goal of the non-profit is to "ensure the neutrality and longevity of OpenSocial as an open, community-governed specification for building social applications across the web." The OpenSocial Foundation will be set up as a non-profit entity, with assets assigned to the new organization by July 1.

"OpenSocial has been a community-driven specification from the beginning," said Joe Kraus, Director of Product Management, Google. "The formation of this foundation will ensure that it remains so in perpetuity. Developers and websites should feel secure that OpenSocial will be forever free and open."

Other social networking sites that are taking part in OpenSocial include LinkedIN, Bebo, Plaxo, Ning, orkut, hi5, imeem and Friendster along with others. The only major social networking site not joining OpenSocial is Facebook.

"As the largest contributor to the memecached system, Facebook has long been a leader and supporter of open source initiatives but will not join the foundation," the company said. "The company will continue to evaluate partnership opportunities that will benefit the 300,000 Facebook Platform developers while improving the Facebook user experience."

In a conference call executives from Yahoo, Google and MySpace said that the OpenSocial Foundation will be a standalone body and that Google will give up its trademark on "OpenSocial" and ownership of the site.

Yahoo, MySpace Join OpenSocial
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