Yahoo and MySpace are joining the Google (News - Alert)-led OpenSocial alliance, according to the company.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Yahoo! and MySpace are joining the Google (News - Alert)-led OpenSocial alliance, according to the company.
The alliance is developing a common set of standards to create applications that can run on social networks and other sites. Yahoo!, MySpace (News - Alert), and Google have announced that they have agreed to form the OpenSocial Foundation to ensure the “neutrality and longevity” of OpenSocial as an open, community-governed specification for building social applications across the Web.

This independent non-profit body—with a formal intellectual property and governance framework—will provide transparency and operational guidelines around technology, documentation, intellectual property, and also ensure that stakeholders share influence over its future direction.

“Yahoo! believes in supporting community-driven industry specifications and expects that OpenSocial will fuel innovation and make the web more relevant and more enjoyable to millions of users,” said Wade Chambers, vice president of Platforms at Yahoo!.

He also noted that this support builds on similar efforts with the OpenID community and will expand the opportunity for developers and publishers to benefit from an open and increasingly social Web.

“Together with the OpenSocial community we are setting new industry specifications for social web application development,” said Steve Pearman, senior vice president of product strategy at MySpace.

He also noted that Yahoo! is an important addition to the OpenSocial movement, and through this foundation “we will work together to provide developers with the tools to make the Internet move faster and to foster more innovation and creativity.”

"OpenSocial has been a community-driven specification from the beginning,” commented Joe Kraus, director of product management at Google. “Developers and websites should feel secure that OpenSocial will be forever free and open.”

Yahoo! reportedly considered joining the alliance for months. However, Yahoo executives were worried that Google might wield too much control over the evolution of OpenSocial and over any intellectual property created by the group, The New York Times reports citing people familiar with the company’s plans.

Yahoo! raised those concerns with Google, and now, Google has agreed to give up control over OpenSocial, the report said.

Other members of the alliance include Bebo, LinkedIn and Plaxo.

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