MySpace and Bebo join Google’s OpenSocial team

November 1, 2007, 8:52 PM UTC

By Lindsay Blakely

Google today announced two big new partners in its battle to make social networks more open — MySpace and Bebo.

When news surfaced Tuesday of Google’s (GOOG) OpenSocial alliance, MySpace (NWS) and Bebo were conspicuously absent from the list of partners joining the effort to create common standards for social networking applications. So, not surprisingly, was top-tier network Facebook.

OpenSocial will allow developers to build widgets that work across a network of social networks that include Hi5, LinkedIn, Ning, Friendster and now MySpace and Bebo.

“This is the logical next step,” said MySpace CEO Chris DeWolfe during a Thursday afternoon conference call at Google headquarters. “Having an open platform where developers can reach a critical mass of people — we’re at over 200 million users now — is an amazing breakthrough for the developer community.”

Facebook requires developers to write their applications in code that is proprietary to its network. OpenSocial developers will use HTML and Javascript.

“We want to see [OpenSocial] adopted by as many people as possible,” said Vic Gundotra, head of Google’s developer program. “We have reached out to almost everyone in the industry.”

Facebook did not immediately return requests for comment.