I received a press release today from Yahoo announcing their support for Google’s OpenSocial platform, an expansive application platform designed to extend the reach of social network applications to multiple networks. Currently, OpenSocial is supported by a number of social networks and companies, including MySpace, Ning, Plaxo, Salesforce.com and more. This is the largest boost in support the platform has received since the addition of MySpace last fall.
In addition, Google, Yahoo and MySpace have agreed to work together and form the OpenSocial Foundation, a non-profit foundation focused on ensuring that OpenSocial remains an “an open, community-governed specification” and that all stakeholders have a share in the influence of the documentation. This effectively removes “sole” control of the open specification from Google and puts it in the hands of all three and creating an organization that has “transparent” oversight in the direction of the platform.
Facebook has been reluctant to join the cadre and support the platform, relying solely on their own application platform based on FBML to provide apps. The big question lingering in my mind is whether this will entice Facebook to embrace the specification and start serving OpenSocial apps in addition to their own platform apps? I think it’s a long shot, especially considering the OpenSocial platform is still in it’s infancy, but it would be nice to see them at least join the foundation. Maybe it’s just a pipe dream.