Google's OpenSocial effort has two new members, none other than MySpace and rival Yahoo. The three companies said they'll put any differences aside and work together to create the OpenSocial Foundation. The foundation will be focused on sustaining a "neutral, community-governed forum" for developing applications.Google is excited about the news. It said in a blog posting today:
Today we're pleased that Yahoo has announced its support for OpenSocial. We're looking forward to having Yahoo users join the hundreds of millions of people who will soon enjoy OpenSocial applications. This addition means even more distribution for developers, encourages participation by even more Web sites, and, most importantly, results in more features for users all across the Web.
In addition, Yahoo, MySpace, and Google are joining with the broader community to create a nonprofit foundation to foster the continued open development of OpenSocial. To that end, we've also launched OpenSocial.org, designed to become the main documentation hub and primary source of information about OpenSocial.
Open Social was created last November with the intent of helping to build infrastructure for social networking Web sites. This new foundation will be set up as a nonprofit, according to Reuters.
The basic goal of the foundation is:
The OpenSocial initiative has reached a point where it must simultaneously (a) put in place sufficient legal structure to provide authors and implementers with the necessary assurances concerning intellectual property, licensing, and logistical concerns, (b) create a scalable and sustainable model for efficient future growth of the technical specifications, and (c) support the ongoing need for the principal stakeholders to ship working and interoperable implementations.
In meeting these needs, the OpenSocial Foundation will be structured to include both corporate and individual representation, and to foster a transparent and participatory community for the purpose of providing equal access to specifications published by the OpenSocial Foundation, at no charge.
The document goes on to list the responsibilities of foundation members and outlines steps that the foundation will be taking to move the organization forward.
What does all this mean for OpenSocial? Surely having the support of MySpace, which is one of the sites the program is intended to help, is long overdue. With it on board, perhaps it will lead to richer features for users.
What do you think? Will it succeed in its chartered purpose?