Google, Yahoo & MySpace Team Up for OpenSocial

OpenSocialYahoo, MySpace and Google have pledged their support to open standards for social media development and data by joining together to form the OpenSocial Foundation. The group will ensure that OpenSocial continues as an open, community-governed specification.

OpenSocial is a specification, launched by Google last year, that defines a common API for social applications across multiple Web sites. It has implications for search marketers and application developers, since it will speed up the development of cross-platform applications. It could also force the hand of non-members, such as Microsoft and Facebook.

Using JavaScript and HTML, developers can create applications with OpenSocial that access features in a social network, like friends and update feeds. By using a common API, developers can build one application that will work across multiple social platforms, extending the reach of their applications and making it easier to add more functionality for users.

The formation of the foundation is not entirely altruistic. By uniting the interests of three of the largest Web entities, the group will have a strong voice in the development of future standards and specifications.

According to Yahoo, "The foundation will provide transparency and operational guidelines around technology, documentation, intellectual property, and other issues related to the evolution of the OpenSocial platform, while also ensuring all stakeholders share influence over its future direction."

About the author

Kevin Newcomb joined ClickZ in August 2004, covering search marketing and other online marketing topics. He has been reporting on web-based businesses since 2000.

Before the bubble burst, Kevin was a marketing manager for an online computer reseller, handling copywriting, e-mail marketing, search marketing and running the affiliate program.

With a combination of real-world marketing experience and years of business journalism, Kevin brings to ClickZ a unique ability to deliver news and training materials that help online marketers do their jobs better.