Yahoo joins social networking project

Yahoo joins social networking project

The OpenSocial Foundation will help to create applications for Facebook rivals

Yahoo has agreed to join forces with rivals MySpace and Google to create the OpenSocial Foundation, a not-for-profit organisation aiming to encourage the development of social networking applications.

The partnership will use Google's OpenSocial network to provide programmers with a common set of technical specifications, allowing new applications to be run across sites such as MySpace, LinkedIn and Friendster.

The search company initiated the project last November in an effort to coax programmers away from Facebook, which still dominates the sector.

The new coalition will help developers bring their products to more than 500 million users worldwide, according to Yahoo.

"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 of platforms.

"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."