Mike Arrington at TechCrunch has confirmed a rumour first advanced by Peter Kafka at Silicon Alley Insider: that MySpace, the 800-pound gorilla of the social-networking sphere, is joining the Google Social platform effort — and so is SixApart, the blogging network that includes Moveable Type and LiveJournal. Bebo, which is not that prominent in North America but is huge in Europe, is also joining Google Social.
Apparently Google moved up the timing of its conference call about its social platform, likely in part because of the rumours, and TechCrunch has some notes from that call — in which Eric Schmidt reveals that Google has been working with MySpace for about a year now, and this deal will supersede the project that MySpace had already announced to create its own Facebook-style platform for developers.
I’m going to write about this some more later, but I think this is potentially huge (although Saul Hansell of the New York Times disagrees). In effect, we have Google and everyone else that matters in the social-networking space on one side, and Facebook and its more or less proprietary, walled-garden approach on the other. Game on.
Mike Arrington says at the bottom of this post that a source at Google says Facebook has been talking to the company about Google Social, contrary to a statement by Facebook’s publicist.