OpenSocial Foundation Moving Standards Work to W3C Social Web Activity

Author(s) and publish date


16 December 2014 — Building on the 31 July 2014 announcement of the W3C Social Web Working Group, the OpenSocial Foundation and W3C today announce the transfer of OpenSocial specifications and assets to the W3C. As of 1 January 2015, OpenSocial Foundation will close and future work will take place within the W3C Social Web Activity, chartered to make it easier to build and integrate social applications into the Open Web Platform.




Said OpenSocial Foundation President John Mertic, “The consensus of the OpenSocial Board is that the next phase of Social Web Standards, built in large part on the success of OpenSocial standards and projects like Apache Shindig and Rave, should occur under the auspices of the W3C Social Web Working Group, of which OpenSocial is a founding member.” Mertic continued, “The OpenSocial community has taken the idea of industry standards to govern the Social Web from dream to reality. By shifting our work now to the W3C Social Web Working Group, we will make the Open Social Web inevitable and ubiquitous.”

OpenSocial brought a number of specifications to the W3C Social Web Working Group that launched in July 2014, including Activity Streams 2.0 and OpenSocial 2.5.1 Activity Streams and Embedded Experiences APIs. Those specifications are mature and widely deployed across the industry.

"With the social business marketplace evolving, we are looking to build on the success of OpenSocial Foundation initiatives to offer deeper integration of social business in the full Open Web Platform," said Jason Roy Gary, Distinguished Engineer, CTO IBM Enterprise Social Solutions & Senior OpenSocial Foundation Board Member. "W3C's technology agenda, global community, and patent policy make it the right venue for developing the next generation of social business standards. As they become platform foundations, these standards will fuel a wide variety of future social applications."

“Social standards are part of the application foundations for the Open Web Platform,” said Jeff Jaffe, W3C CEO, “meaning they will be used everywhere, in diverse applications that run on phones, cars, televisions, and ereaders. We are thrilled to be working with our OpenSocial Foundation colleagues on the next generation of social standards, and to further leverage the benefits of HTML5 and other Open Web Platform technologies.”

The OpenSocial Foundation and W3C invite people to participate in these groups:

  • The Social Web Working Group, which is defining technical standards and APIs to facilitate access to social functionality. These include a common JSON-based syntax for social data, a client-side API, and a Web protocol for federating social information such as status updates.
  • The Social Interest Group, which is coordinating development of social use cases, and formulating a broad strategy to enable social business and federation.

A FAQ answers some common questions about this transition.

About the World Wide Web Consortium

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) is an international consortium where Member organizations, a full-time staff, and the public work together to develop Web standards. W3C primarily pursues its mission through the creation of Web standards and guidelines designed to ensure long-term growth for the Web. The Open Web Platform is a current major focus. Over 400 organizations are Members of the Consortium. W3C is jointly run by the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (MIT CSAIL) in the USA, the European Research Consortium for Informatics and Mathematics (ERCIM) headquartered in France, Keio University in Japan, and Beihang University in China, and has additional Offices worldwide. For more information see

End Press Release

Media Contacts

For W3C, Ian Jacobs: <>, +1.718 260 9447

For OpenSocial: Greg Wallace, <>, +1 919 247 3165

Statements in support from the OpenSocial Foundation Board

Laurent-Walter Goix

The OpenSocial Foundation has evolved over the last years into a tremendous incubator of social standards in a concrete business-driven space. The large ecosystem of enterprise social software showcases the effectiveness of OpenSocial’s efforts. Time for a larger interoperability effort has come and I am more than happy to see OpenSocial aligning with and furthering the W3C Social Working Group efforts. The OpenSocial Foundation’s pioneering work and broad implementation track record will help ensure the deployment-readiness of future social standards.

Matt Franklin

The history of OpenSocial reflects its community’s mission to standardize the social Web. Despite the challenges all such endeavors face, the OpenSocial community has succeeded in shepherding the specification from a single vendor to an open foundation and now to its ultimate destination at the W3C Social Web Working Group. The community has my immense gratitude for all its efforts to date and I look forward to its ongoing engagement at the W3C as it continues evolving the social web.

Matt Franklin, Director of Engineering, W2O Group

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