The News Corp website signed a deal with Yahoo, eBay, Photobucket and Twitter as part of a new service called “Data Availability”. MySpace will design a new section of the site, which users can use to control what information goes where. The service will operate on an opt-in basis so users and parents don’t have to worry about their information flying across the internet without their knowledge.
The move is part of the OpenID Coalition formed last June by Google, Microsoft and Yahoo! The coalition supports the idea of a common username and password for each individual online.
"The walls around the garden are coming down, and the implementation of Data Availability injects a new layer of social activity and creates a more dynamic internet," said Chris DeWolfe, chief executive and co-founder of MySpace
Data Availability goes hand in hand with Yahoo’s Y!OS (Yahoo! Open Strategy) a service which displays MySpace default pictures, interests and favourites to the user’s messenger contacts.
"Yahoo believes in an open internet that gives users the flexibility to make their web experiences as relevant, social and personalised as they can," said Ash Patel, executive vice president of platforms at Yahoo.
Of course where there’s MySpace, you’re sure to find Facebook lurking in the shadows and sure enough, Facebook has announced a similar initiative called Facebook Connect. Facebook Connect is basically an updated version of the Facebook API launched in August 2006. The API allowed users to share information with third party websites. Facebook Connect will allows users to "connect" their Facebook identity, friends and privacy to any site and will enable third party websites to implement and offer Facebook features away from the website.
Facebook Connect will not be up and running for several weeks, which makes us wonder whether Facebook got wind of the MySpace announcement and started to feel the heat. Either way users of both will be able to avail of roughly the same features, which means one less difference between the two.