Yahoo may join Google's OpenSocial, a standards effort to allow social networks to communicate and share data. If Yahoo joins OpenSocial the set of standards would have a critical mass of big players lined up behind it.
According to Miguel Helft in the New York Times' Bits blog, Yahoo may announce its participation as "early as this week."
Google's OpenSocial includes MySpace and every other social network (LinkedIn, Ning, Orkut, Oracle etc.) not named Facebook. Yahoo would just make the dog pile worse.
So what do you do if you're Facebook? You could continue to go it alone in a strategy that may be fine in the short-term. Facebook has enough momentum to do what it wants. Dan Farber adds that Facebook has been cool to OpenSocial and is taking a wait and see approach. And why not? Facebook has an army of developers creating application. It's not like developers are ignoring Facebook.
But at some point in the future social networking standards will matter. And Facebook could neutralize a potential threat merely by joining OpenSocial.