Google today announced the launch of OpenSocial, an aid for developers of social applications and websites wanting to add social features. The program will mark the first time multiple social networks will be accessible under a common API; currently, developers have to write custom software for multiple websites.

Some of the APIs accessible to developers via OpenSocial include: 3 JavaScript and Gdata APIs; a sample code, documentation, and support group; and a live developer sandbox on orkut at

Some of the sites already committed to using OpenSocial include Oracle and popular MySpace, amongst others. The tally of global users accumulated by the various sites equals approximately 200 million.

In related news, GOOG subsidiary YouTube has made a deal with Harpo Productions to show the Oprah Channel. The channel will feature the daytime diva's exclusive behind-the-scenes footage at

Google shares have responded well to the news, as the stock has gained as much as 9 points today. GOOG is currently trading at $711.82, up 1.06%.