The much expected, joked about and pre-announced MySpace developer platform is finally here. Well, not quite:
As Aber mentioned, we’re currently in a sandbox phase. Here are the important points to understand about this phase:
- Your application profiles are private
- Your apps install on real MySpace accounts, but are limited to three installations
- If your app renders a profile module, it will only be visible to users who have that application installed
So, essentially, the platform is in a public beta allowing for some back’n’forth between MySpace and the developer community. This is a good change in stance for MySpace, which has in the past taken a rather confrontational stance with respect to third party developers. I hope they have hired (a) some great platform architects and (b) some great developer community managers or else it’s unlikely that the outcome of the beta period will lead to significant improvements.
Always more of a media/lifestyle company than a technology company, MySpace has taken a long time to come to terms with opening up. Some months ago I had a conversation with one of the CXOs there about this very issue. From his comments it was clear that there was tension at the highest ranks about how to proceed. I guess Facebook’s growth accelerating and the company becoming progressively closer with Microsoft helped MySpace, whose own growth declined, realize that they need to open up and partner with a tech savvy power (Google, which is helping with OpenSocial and Caja). Good move, though I expect Google to benefit more in the long run than MySpace as it sets up OpenSocial for success.
Although Facebook and MySpace remain quite different, it will be interesting to see what developers do on MySpace. Let the widget games begin.
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