Microsoft, in an clear attempt to compete with Google's OpenSocial, has announced a partnership to create data portability across 5 social networking sites. Facebook, Bebo, Hi5, Tagged and LinkedIn are all part of the arrangement, which will "exchange functionally-similar Contacts APIs." Microsoft says the move will allow them to create a safe, secure two-way method for users of the sites to move their relationships among the respective services.
Microsoft is including Windows Live Messenger in the mix. Invite2messenger.net was developed to help users invite their friends from the five social networks to join their Windows Live Messenger contact list, if they have one.
What's unclear is what Microsoft would do with Yahoo if the proposed acquisition takes place. Earlier today, it was announced that Yahoo has joined Google's OpenSocial. And AOL's Bebo is now part of Microsoft's data portability network, which should fan the flames of some analysts' commentary that Microsoft should buy AOL instead. The soap opera continues.