RealTime IT News

Google's OpenSocial Gets MySpace Endorsement

Social networking site Facebook garnered a huge amount of attention and developer support when it opened up its platform to outside developers earlier this year. Just last week, Microsoft announced it made an equity investment in the social networking powerhouse, paying $240 million for roughly a 1.6 percent stake, based on an overall valuation of privately-held Facebook at $15 billion.

Now the other shoe has dropped.

MySpace, Facebook's archrival and the largest social network, announced it's throwing its support behind Google's OpenSocial, a set of common APIs   for building social applications across the Web.

The support from MySpace, a unit of Fox Interactive Media, comes just a day after OpenSocial's own coming out party.

"It's been a very fluid process for us, we want as many developers to join OpenSocial as soon as possible," a Google spokesperson told InternetNews.com.

OpenSocial's official launch is slated for 12:01 a.m. Friday, when the initiative's Web site goes live, providing developers with tools for writing applications for OpenSocial.

"Our partnership with Google allows developers to gain massive distribution without unnecessary specialized development for every platform," said MySpace CEO and Co-Founder Chris DeWolfe in a statement. "This is about helping the start-up spend more time building a great product rather than rebuilding it for every social network."

In a release, Google said the OpenSocial specifications are designed to evolve through contribution from the open source community and as new features are developed by partners.

MySpace joins a slew of other companies that have pledged support for OpenSocial, including Engage.com, Friendster, hi5, Hyves, imeem, LinkedIn, Ning, Oracle, Google's Orkut, Plaxo, Salesforce.com, Six Apart, Tianji, Viadeo, and XING.

"Application developers have been working with MySpace for a long time—this takes what we can do together to a whole new level," said Joe Greenstein, CEO of Flixster, a community site for movie fans, in a statement. "The sheer scale of MySpace makes this extremely exciting for us."

DeWolfe told an audience at the Web 2.0 Summit last month that MySpace would open its platform to developers "in the next months" but the launch of OpenSocial and the alliance with Google came as something of a surprise for the industry. Today's launch will mark the first release of technical details of the forthcoming MySpace Platform for developers.