Yahoo, 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.
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."