Back in November 2007, when Google released the OpenSocial platform, it only had a few partners that agreed to support the OpenSocial APIs, including Bebo, HI5, MySpace and Friendster. As you can see, most of them are actually social networks although the alliance also included other names such as Salesforce and Oracle. However, the OpenSocial platform has always been opened to any interested company, one of the most important names lured by it being Yahoo, a Google rival in many areas of the web.
Today, the Sunnyvale company has announced that Yahoo, Google and MySpace agreed to form the OpenSocial Foundation, a non-profit organization that will support the evolution of the OpenSocial platform and all its related assets.
"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 - Platforms, Yahoo!. "Our 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."
What's interesting is that Facebook, one of the top players on the social networking market, still refuses to join the alliance even though its main rivals, MySpace and Bebo, are already part of the deals. However, Google welcomes Yahoo's decision, hoping that the new-formed foundation will help both developers and websites, no matter if we're talking about social networking services or other kind of pages.
"OpenSocial has been a community-driven specification from the beginning," said Joe Kraus, Director of Product Management, Google. "The formation of this foundation will ensure that it remains so in perpetuity. Developers and websites should feel secure that OpenSocial will be forever free and open."