MySpace to Open Platform to Developers

 
 
By Peter Galli  |  Posted 2007-10-18
 
 
 

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.

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