MySpace to Open Platform to Developers

By Peter Galli  |  Posted 2007-10-18 Print this article Print

The company is also developing a catalog of widgets on MySpace to make it easier for users to find and use them.

SAN FRANCISCO—MySpace plans to open up its platform to external developers in the next few months, company CEO and co-founder Chris DeWolfe said at the opening dinner at the annual Web 2.0 Summit here Oct. 18. "Once we do that, we will create a sandbox of 2 million users to test those applications to make sure that they are safe and secure, but the sandbox should be fairly easy to get through. Its a more measured approach," he said in answer to questions from Web 2.0 Summit co-host John Battelle.
MySpace would also let developers make money on its platform, by letting them have a control page on the site that they would essentially own.
"MySpace could potentially also help them sell advertising for that page, but the developer will own and control all the content on that page," he said. Asked if MySpace would allow the portability of data outside of MySpace, DeWolfe said it would as long as that was safe and secure for the user. Read more here about how Facebook opened up to developers. Asked by Battelle if MySpace would do more than Facebook on the developer and data portability fronts and actually upstage them in this regard, DeWolfe hesitated before throwing up his hands and saying yes. But MySpace is playing catch-up on this front to one of its biggest competitors, Facebook. That company introduced the Facebook Platform May 24, which allows developers to build on top of Facebooks APIs. In a brief interview with eWEEK, DeWolfe said the company was planning a MySpace API development platform that developers could use to build their applications on top of and make money off. "It will be totally open and there will be a sandbox of some 2 million user testers where their applications will be put through their paces, but I expect this process to be fairly quick. But I also dont want to see the site completely cluttered with applications or have users exposed to any new risks," he said. Read more here about why experts say Google and MySpace must open their platforms for social network growth. The developer program would also likely grow in momentum over time and, by opening it up and helping developers make money from it, that would hopefully result in a surge in applications that brought new and exciting innovations that had not been conceived of as yet, he said. "Users will be able to find these applications on the control page, which will be under the full control of the developer. We are also looking at how we can help them monetize that through advertising, but Im not going to give more specific details," DeWolfe told eWEEK. He maintained that MySpace had been the first truly open social networking service and had opened up its platform some four years ago, at least in terms of allowing third-party developers to have their widgets on the site. "We are also developing a catalog of all the widgets on MySpace to make it easier for users to find and use on their pages, which will be available in a few weeks time," he said. To read more about how MySpace hooked up with Skype, click here. Asked about its relationship with Google and whether it planned to renew that deal, DeWolfe said a large chunk of MySpaces revenue came from Google. "We are very happy with the deal with Google, but are only one year into it." With regard to future acquisitions, he said everything was too expensive now and so doing that doesnt make sense at this point. Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest news, reviews and analysis in programming environments and developer tools.
Peter Galli has been a financial/technology reporter for 12 years at leading publications in South Africa, the UK and the US. He has been Investment Editor of South Africa's Business Day Newspaper, the sister publication of the Financial Times of London.

He was also Group Financial Communications Manager for First National Bank, the second largest banking group in South Africa before moving on to become Executive News Editor of Business Report, the largest daily financial newspaper in South Africa, owned by the global Independent Newspapers group.

He was responsible for a national reporting team of 20 based in four bureaus. He also edited and contributed to its weekly technology page, and launched a financial and technology radio service supplying daily news bulletins to the national broadcaster, the South African Broadcasting Corporation, which were then distributed to some 50 radio stations across the country.

He was then transferred to San Francisco as Business Report's U.S. Correspondent to cover Silicon Valley, trade and finance between the US, Europe and emerging markets like South Africa. After serving that role for more than two years, he joined eWeek as a Senior Editor, covering software platforms in August 2000.

He has comprehensively covered Microsoft and its Windows and .Net platforms, as well as the many legal challenges it has faced. He has also focused on Sun Microsystems and its Solaris operating environment, Java and Unix offerings. He covers developments in the open source community, particularly around the Linux kernel and the effects it will have on the enterprise.

He has written extensively about new products for the Linux and Unix platforms, the development of open standards and critically looked at the potential Linux has to offer an alternative operating system and platform to Windows, .Net and Unix-based solutions like Solaris.

His interviews with senior industry executives include Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, Linus Torvalds, the original developer of the Linux operating system, Sun CEO Scot McNealy, and Bill Zeitler, a senior vice president at IBM.

For numerous examples of his writing you can search under his name at the eWEEK Website at


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