MySpace, the world's largest social network, which is owned by Rupert
Murdoch's News Corporation and Google, on Thursday announced that they are
joining forces to launch OpenSocial— a set of common APIs for
building social applications across the web.
The partnership spearheads an initiative to standardize and simplify the
development of social applications. MySpace said that its announcement
underscores MySpace's commitment to supporting standards that foster innovation
in an increasingly social Web. Rival social networking site Bebo, has also
signed up to the Google standard.
Following being snubbed last week by leading buzzmaking social networking service
Facebook in favour of Microsoft, Google announce an alliance to introduce a
common set of standards to allow software developers to write programs for
Google’s social network, Orkut, as well as others, including LinkedIn, hi5,
Friendster, Plaxo and Ning.
Earlier this year, Facebook, stole a march on rivals when it opened its service
to outside developers. Since then, more than 5,000 small programs have been
built to run on the Facebook site, and some have been adopted by millions of the
site’s users. Most of those programs are used in the connections among Facebook
friends and have proliferated through those connections, as well as through a
“news feed” that alerts Facebook users about what their friends are
"Our partnership with Google allows developers to gain massive
distribution without unnecessary specialized development for every
platform," said Chris DeWolfe, Chief Executive
Officer and co-founder of MySpace. "This is about helping the
start-up spend more time building a great product rather than rebuilding it for
every social network. We're pleased to collaborate with Google to establish a
landmark standard for social applications."
As a founding member of OpenSocial, MySpace will provide critical user mass
and platform guidance. The OpenSocial standards are designed to evolve through
contribution from the open source community and as new features are developed by
various partners. Global members of the OpenSocial community include Engage.com,
Friendster, hi5, Hyves, imeem, LinkedIn, Ning, Oracle, orkut, Plaxo,
Salesforce.com, Six Apart, Tianji, Viadeo, and XING.
"As the most trafficked website in the country and the most popular social
network in the world, MySpace is one of the leading forces in the global social
Web," said Dr. Eric Schmidt, Chairman of the
Executive Committee and Chief Executive Officer of Google. "We're
thrilled to grow our strategic relationship with MySpace by joining forces on
this important initiative."
"As an application developer, we're excited to see MySpace adopting the
OpenSocial standard for social application development," said Joe Greenstein, CEO of Flixster. "Application
developers have been working with MySpace for a long time—this takes what we can
do together to a whole new level. The sheer scale of MySpace makes this
extremely exciting for us."
"We're all citizens of a larger Web—no network is an island onto
itself," said Aber Whitcomb, CTO of
MySpace. "We look forward to continuing to develop great
technology with Google and all of the OpenSocial participants. It's exciting
that social networks are getting social with each other."
The launch of OpenSocial is the first release of technical details for the
forthcoming MySpace Platform. From Thursday tonight, developers could begin
writing applications for OpenSocial at http://code.google.com/apis/opensocial which the MySpace
Platform will support at launch.