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Gossip sheet: Is MySpace about to join OpenSocial?

The Silicon Alley Insider reports that the News Corp.-owned social network may join the new Google-run coalition as early as Thursday.

The Silicon Alley Insider's Peter Kafka reported Thursday morning that he heard MySpace will be announcing a partnership with Google's new social-networking project, OpenSocial--potentially before the end of the day.

MySpace, which already has its search and advertising functions powered by Google, has not yet responded to requests for comment.

If true, this would probably be a good thing for MySpace, which has lost its place in the social media spotlight to Facebook (though it still leads in traffic and membership) and is struggling to play catch-up by working on a developer platform strategy that may not see the light of day for months. Google's involvement would provide it with both technological reinforcement and guaranteed developer attention.

It would also be, to my knowledge, the first OpenSocial partnership that involves a social-networking property owned by a major media company; News Corp. purchased MySpace in 2005. The other social networks participating in the new Google partnership, with the exception of Google's own Orkut, of course, are all independently run (like LinkedIn, Friendster, Hi5, and Plaxo).

Considering Google has shown recent reluctance to team up with major media conglomerates outside of strictly search- and advertising-related deals, this would be an interesting development.