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Google has lured MySpace, the world’s largest online social network, to join its OpenSocial platform, courting independent software developers, and raising its challenge to fast-growing Facebook, with a user base of more than 48 million people.

Google’s OpenSocial (FAQ) will allow developers to write programs across multiple social sites using one set of tools. The tools, which will become available early Friday on the Web, will eliminate the need for small start-ups or even one-person shops to customize their programs for each site.

Developers have created interactive programs that let users rank their friends, wage virtual food fights or compare and recommend music. Some of the applications are now used by millions of people and are already being sought out by advertisers. OpenSocial apps typically include Google Gadgets, so you will need to provide a way to allow a user to add gadgets to their page. You can provide your own directory, link to hand-picked URLs, and/or allow users to add gadgets by URL

“OpenSocial is going to become the de facto standard (for developers) instantly out of the gates. It is going to have a reach of 200 million users, which is way bigger than anything else out there,” Chris DeWolfe, chief executive and co-founder of MySpace, told reporters.

Members of the OpenSocial community include Engage.com, Friendster, hi5, Hyves, imeem, LinkedIn, Ning, Oracle, orkut, Plaxo, Salesforce.com, Six Apart, Tianji, Viadeo, and XING.

TechCrunch reported the Facebook reaction was, “We Have Not Been Briefed On OpenSocial”.
Suddenly Facebook is being painted as the closed outsider, says TechCrunch, while everyone else is allowing the use of non proprietary coding platforms. Facebook requires the use of FBML, not HTML.

Google looks to announce an alliance with various handset makers and cellphone operators around the world, Monday says the Wall Street Journal. Google is pushing its “open” platform for cellphone applications, sources say.

Don Park writes; “The OpenWRT based fireware project Coova has come up with a novel form of access control. Access point visitors are sent to a facebook application where they must login to their facebook account to prove they are facebook friends with the access point owner. Facebook friends are then allowed to use the access point. Details and screenshots are here“.

Google’s OpenSocial might be handy for $300 Linux laptops and G-Phones, too.

According to Opus Research, mobile advertising spending in North America and Western Europe will reach a combined $5.08 billion by 2012, up from an estimated $106.8 million at the end of this year. This represents a compound annual growth rate of 116 percent.

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