MySpace and Bebo join Google social networking project

Google has signed up the world's biggest social networking site MySpace, plus Bebo and Xing, as partners for its new cross-platform project OpenSocial. News Corp-owned MySpace, which has around 110m unique monthly users according to ComScore, confirmed it was joining the Google OpenSocial initiative last night. OpenSocial aims to break down the barriers between rival social networks and establish a standard set of applications that will work across all the sites. In a statement Chris DeWolfe, MySpace co-founder and chief executive, said: "OpenSocial is going to become the de facto standard for developers. It is going to have a reach of 200m users, which is way bigger than anything else out there." With MySpace and Bebo now on board, the biggest social network not yet taking part in the OpenSocial project is Facebook. Google's move into social networking is seen as a defensive move against the growing power of Facebook, which earlier this year overtook MySpace as the UK's most popular network. Worldwide, it still trails behind MySpace by some 30m monthly visitors, according to ComScore. Since May, web developers have been able to develop applications for Facebook, which users can embed into their profiles -- a move followed by MySpace in October. For the first time, OpenSocial will make it possible for developers to build applications that work across dozens of different social networking sites. Xing, a social network for business professionals, has also joined the initiative. Lars Hinrichs, founder and chief executive, said: "OpenSocial will benefit Xing members by giving them access to more social applications and more features. "This complements our development work and keeps us at the forefront of innovation in social media." Other confirmed partners for the project, announced yesterday, are LinkedIn, Plaxo, Hi5, iLike and Oracle. Google's own social networking site, Orkut, is also included in the project. The site, which is not well known in the US and UK, claims 25m monthly visitors worldwide. No responsibility can be taken for the content of external Internet sites.

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