Yahoo! Throws Support Behind OpenSocial

NEW YORK Yahoo! has joined with rival Google, along with MySpace and several other major Web players to support the OpenSocial initiative — which is aimed at encouraging technology developers to build applications that work across multiple social media platforms and sites.
To bolster that initiative, the three companies have announced the formation of the OpenSocial Foundation, a nonprofit group that will serve as a neutral third party tasked with providing guidelines and standards to OpenSocial participants.
The OpenSocial initiative was launched last year following the rapid success of Facebook’s groundbreaking program that allows any third party to build applications for the increasingly popular social networking site.
Google, MySpace and others are looking to encourage that sort of development, but want to ensure that future social applications are built so that they work on all sorts of Web sites (and aren’t limited to a single player like Facebook). The group promises that OpenSocial could potentially provide developers with the opportunity to reach more than 500 million Web users worldwide.
Now Yahoo!, with its huge audience reach, has joined the movement, which also includes Bebo, LinkedIn, imeem and Friendster. “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, vp, platforms, Yahoo!.