Tuesday, February 05, 2008

SNS - open API

MySpace opens to software developers

MySpace on Tuesday opened its popular social-networking platform to software developers, echoing a move credited with helping Facebook gain ground on its market-leading rival.

MySpace premiered a Developer Platform Site created as a "sandbox" in which software wizards worldwide can craft mini-applications, called widgets, for MySpace member profile pages.

"The future of the global social Web will leverage the creativity of the masses to produce meaningful and diverse social experiences, pushing the industry to be more innovative and progressive," said MySpace chief executive Chris DeWolfe.

"We are committed to lowering the barrier to entry for developers around the world to build a more collaborative and dynamic Internet, while empowering our members to take control of their online presence in new and exciting ways."

Facebook began growing at a phenomenal rate after it freed developers early last year to craft hip, entertaining, or useful min-applications for members of that social networking website.

MySpace followed that move by helping establish an OpenSocial partnership aimed at creating standards for social networking applications so widgets could fit competing platforms.

MySpace invited developers to a Tuesday soiree at its San Francisco office to tinker with the new platform for the first time.

The event marks the start of a period of behind the scenes use of the platform by developers to test it and, hopefully, have widgets ready for debut when MySpace publically opens an Application Gallery next month.

MySpace says it will work with developers to create applications and check creations to make certain they are safe for people to use.

Partners in the effort include Google, which is providing a "sanitizer" for cleansing Javascript applications of malicious codes, according to MySpace.

"Applications will be governed by the same privacy controls that are in place for members," said MySpace chief technology officer Aber Whitcomb.

"An application will never have access to information that cannot be found on any member's profile page. Applications will also go through a rigorous safety review process before going live to our members."

MySpace said it will also guard against applications that infringe on copyrights.

Hasbro and Mattel in January asked Facebook to remove Scrabulous, a popular widget that lets members of the community play Scrabble at the website without the major game makers' sanction.

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