Google and Facebook have joined the DataPortability Workgroup, an organisation whose purpose is to create ways of sharing user-generated content between social networks. Chris Saad, co-founder and CEO of Faraday Media and an organiser of the data portability recently mentioned in a blog post that "together represent the key players in the competing approaches to social networking platforms and data portability."
Chris also wrote “Their joint support of the DataPortability initiative presents a new opportunity for the next generation of software — particularly in the fields of social software, user rights and interoperability; this means users will be able to access their friends and media across all the applications, social networking sites and widgets that implement the design into their systems.” He added "The technologies already exist; we simply need a complete reference design to pull the pieces together," Saad noted. "Our mission: To put all existing technologies and initiatives in context to create a reference design for end-to-end data portability."
Plaxo Inc. has also announced plans of joining Google and Facebook. Representing Google in the DataPortability Workgroup is Brad Fitzpatrick, inventor of LiveJournal and a leader of the Google-led OpenSocial project, former Google employee, Facebook’s Benjamin Ling will represent Facebook, and Joseph Smarr is Plaxo’s representative.