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OpenSocial Launches Foundation

Kim Hart

The social media world now has its own non-profit foundation. Yahoo, MySpace and Google today announced that they have created a group to support the OpenSocial initiative that Google kicked off last fall as a way to standardize the development of applications for social-networking sites.

The OpenSocial Foundation was formed "to ensure the neutrality and longevity of OpenSocial as an open, community-governed specification for building social applications across the web," the three companies said in a joint press release. Essentially, the foundation will act as an independent organization to govern the intellectual property that comes out of OpenSocial and to ensure that all the stakeholders have a say in its direction.

MySpace was the first social network to open up its API for developers, followed by Google's social network called Orkut. The social network hi5 is expected to open up to developers starting next week. Other OpenSocial members include Friendster, LinkedIn, Ning, Plaxo, imeem and Six Apart. Yahoo is the newest member of the alliance. Facebook, however, is not taking part.

The foundation "is next evolution of where OpenSocial needs to be heading," said Joe Kraus, director of product management at Google, who works with the OpenSocial team. "All community-driven specifications have mechanisms for ensuring ongoing development...and making sure it's free or unencumbered."

He added that, although Yahoo, MySpace and Google are taking the lead on the Foundation, he expects it to be a "community effort" among other OpenSocial members.

The foundation will not receive any revenue from any applications directly, and each different social network can choose to monetize and split revenue from applications however it sees fit. The foundation's main purpose is to develop the core intellectual property framework that allows these applications to work across the social network ecosystem.

By Kim Hart  |  March 25, 2008; 2:09 PM ET  | Category:  Kim Hart
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I am a little confused as to why they feel the need to this anyway, but time will tell if this service will be even useful and or needed.

Posted by: Bleu | March 31, 2008 12:48 PM

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