MySpace and Google gang up on Facebook

Google has lured MySpace, the world's largest online social network, to its side in its battle against the wildly popular rival site Facebook.

The internet search giant, which is based in Mountain View, California, has announced that MySpace is to join its OpenSocial platform that allows developers to write programs across multiple social sites using one set of tools.

The tools will eliminate the need for small start-ups or even one-person shops to customise programs, such as an interactive game of scrabble, for each site.
MySpace and Google gang up on FacebookGoogle's new battle plan was revealed yesterday, but at first the tech group only confirmed five partners for the OpenSocial strategy – the social network sites LinkedIn, hi5, iLike, Slide and Ning.

"What a difference a day makes", said Bill Tancer from internet research group Hitwise. Yesterday, Mr Tancer was sceptical, as Facebook is almost ten times the size of the combined group of OpenSocial's initially named partner sites.

He said: "The big question is, can a collection of social networks tied together with a standard for application development challenge the fastest growing social network – Facebook?".

However, the addition of MySpace has created "a completely different picture". The tables have turned, with OpenSocial's combined group of sites claiming 5.1pc of US website visits, compared to Facebook's 0.96pc. Without MySpace, OpenSocial's team could have boasted just 0.097pc of total web visits. Bebo, the UK's largest social network, has also signed up to OpenSocial.

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