Yahoo! supports OpenSocial; Yahoo!, MySpace and Google to form non-profit OpenSocial Foundation
Community organization to assure neutrality and longevity of specification for building social applications across the web
SUNNYVALE/LOS ANGELES/MOUNTAIN VIEW, CALIF. (March 25, 2008) – Yahoo!, MySpace, and Google today announced they have agreed to form the OpenSocial Foundation to ensure the neutrality and longevity of OpenSocial as an open, community-governed specification for building social applications across the web. Yahoo!’s support of OpenSocial and role as a founding member of the new foundation are landmarks for the rapidly growing specification which will now offer developers the potential to connect with more than 500 million people worldwide.
The OpenSocial Foundation will be an independent non-profit entity with a formal intellectual property and governance framework; related assets will be assigned to the new organization by July 1, 2008. The foundation will provide transparency and operational guidelines around technology, documentation, intellectual property, and other issues related to the evolution of the OpenSocial platform, while also ensuring all stakeholders share influence over its future direction.
“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.”
“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.”
The OpenSocial Foundation website at www.opensocial.org will serve as the portal for the community to find all information about OpenSocial and the foundation as they evolve. Developers and website owners can now visit www.opensocial.org for the latest specifications, links to other resources, and the opportunity to get involved.
Engineers from Yahoo!, MySpace, and Google will continue to work together and with the OpenSocial community to further advance the specification through the new foundation, continuing several core elements of OpenSocial since its announcement by Google, MySpace, and many others in November 2007:
- all specifications are available under a Creative Commons copyright license
- public community involvement shapes the specification’s direction
- an open source reference implementation called Shindig is being created and developed as a project in the Apache Software Foundation incubator, available at incubator.apache.org/shindig/
OpenSocial addresses an emerging problem for developers who are eagerly building applications people can enjoy with their friends: before OpenSocial, if a developer built a "favorite photos" application to work on one social network, it would have to be built all over again to work on another site. OpenSocial tackles this problem at its technology roots, providing common "plumbing" that lets social applications run on many different websites without requiring duplicate work from either developers or the websites.
The result is a vast distribution platform for social applications, whether they are for sharing photos or playing games or arranging real-world meetings or any number of other activities – everything is more fun, interesting, and useful when users can involve their friends and contacts.
Steady Evolution, Important Milestones
Millions of people around the world are beginning to see the benefits of the OpenSocial platform as new features appear on their favorite social networks. MySpace launched the MySpace Developer Platform, which uses the OpenSocial APIs, and began rolling out applications to its users. orkut has also started making OpenSocial applications available to its users, and hi5 will do so at the end of March.
Thanks to the Shindig reference implementation, most websites can have a proof of concept of OpenSocial applications up and running in days. That means websites need only to make this small time investment in order to make thousands of new social features available to their users.
Global members of the OpenSocial community include Engage.com, Friendster, hi5, Hyves, imeem, LinkedIn, Ning, Oracle, orkut, Plaxo, Salesforce.com, Six Apart, Tianji, Viadeo, XING, and others. In time, OpenSocial will unlock more powerful and pervasive social capabilities across the entire web, as developers’ applications can easily reach users across any of the websites, web applications, or social networks they use.
Conference Call Information
Yahoo!, MySpace, and Google will co-host a conference call to discuss this announcement. The conference call will be held on Tuesday, March 25, 2008 at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time (1:00 p.m. Eastern Time). To access the conference call, please dial +1 877-545-1407 within the United States and +1 719-325-4875 from international locations. Replays of both calls will be available until midnight, April 1, 2008 at +1 888-203-1112 domestically and +1 719-457-0820 internationally. The confirmation code for the replay of the call is 1411164.
Yahoo! Inc. is a leading global Internet brand and one of the most trafficked Internet destinations worldwide. Yahoo! is focused on powering its communities of users, advertisers, publishers, and developers by creating indispensable experiences built on trust. Yahoo! is headquartered in Sunnyvale, California. For more information, visit pressroom.yahoo.com or the company’s blog, Yodel Anecdotal.
MySpace, a unit of Fox Interactive Media Inc., is the premier lifestyle portal for connecting with friends, discovering popular culture, and making a positive impact on the world. By integrating web profiles, blogs, instant messaging, e-mail, music streaming, music videos, photo galleries, classified listings, events, groups, college communities, and member forums, MySpace has created a connected community. As the first ranked web domain in terms of page views(c), MySpace is the most widely-used and highly regarded site of its kind and is committed to providing the highest quality member experience. MySpace will continue to innovate with new features that allow its members to express their creativity and share their lives, both online and off. MySpace’s international network includes 20 localized community sites in the United States, Canada, Latin America, Mexico, Austria, Finland, Germany, Italy, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, UK, Denmark, France, Ireland, Netherlands, Spain, Austria, Japan and New Zealand. Fox Interactive Media is a division of News Corp. (NYSE:NWS – News, NWS.A – News; ASX:NWS – News, NWSLV – News).
*Among the top 2000 domains comScore Media Metrix, September 2007. For more information on comScore Networks, please go to www.comscore.com.
About Google Inc.
Google’s innovative search technologies connect millions of people around the world with information every day. Founded in 1998 by Stanford Ph.D. students Larry Page and Sergey Brin, Google today is a top web property in all major global markets. Google’s targeted advertising program provides businesses of all sizes with measurable results, while enhancing the overall web experience for users. Google is headquartered in Silicon Valley with offices throughout the Americas, Europe and Asia. For more information, please visit www.google.com.