MySpace and Google join to launch new social platform

OpenSocial will provide APIs to developers seeking to build social applications

MySpace and Google Inc. announced Thursday that they have joined forces to launch a new social platform complete with a set of APIs for developers to build social applications.

The launch of OpenSocial by Google was expected,  but the partnership with MySpace put added weight behind Google's plans.

"Our partnership with Google allows developers to gain massive distribution without unnecessary specialized development for every platform," said Chris DeWolfe, CEO and co-founder of MySpace, 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. We're pleased to collaborate with Google to establish a landmark standard for social applications."

The OpenSocial standards are designed to evolve through contributions from the open-source community and from partners like Friendster, LinkedIn, Ning, Six Apart, Plaxo and

Although Microsoft Corp. beat Google in the bidding for a minority stake in MySpace rival Facebook,  Google "may have just come out of nowhere and checkmated Facebook in the social networking power struggle," blogged Michael Arrington, who operates the technology blog TechCrunch. Microsoft announced last week that it was investing $240 million in Facebook as part of a strategic alliance.

"Suddenly, within just the last couple of days, the entire social networking world has announced that they are ganging up to take on Facebook, and Google is their quarterback in the big game," Arrington noted.

Beginning Thursday night, developers can start writing applications for OpenSocial at a newly created Web site.

Copyright © 2007 IDG Communications, Inc.

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