MySpace and Google have announced that they are joining forces on Google's "OpenSocial" project, a set of common APIs (application programming interfaces) for building social applications across the web.

Google says the partnership "spearheads an initiative to standardize and simplify the development of social applications".

"Our partnership with Google allows developers to gain massive distribution without unnecessary specialized development for every platform", said Chris DeWolfe, CEO of MySpace.

"This is about helping the start-up spend more time building a great product rather than rebuilding it for every social network. We're pleased to collaborate with Google to establish a landmark standard for social applications."

Global members of the OpenSocial community include Engage.com, Friendster, hi5, Hyves, imeem, LinkedIn, Ning, Oracle, orkut, Plaxo, Salesforce.com, Six Apart, Tianji, Viadeo, XING - and now Bebo too, with Facebook noticeably absent from the list.

The launch of OpenSocial is the first release of technical details for the forthcoming MySpace Platform which means developers can start writing applications for OpenSocial.