RealTime IT News

MySpace Plans to Get More Developer Friendly

SAN FRANCISCO -- MySpace confirmed plans to open up its social network to developers, enabling them to build applications based on its platform, an executive said here yesterday at the Web 2.0 Summit. But the company has yet to produce public APIs that would simplify third-party development.

The news follows rival Facebook's May announcement of similar plans.

Speaking at an event here yesterday, MySpace co-founder Chris DeWolfe said the company, now a unit of News Corp., would officially open its platform to developers "in the next few months."

In the meantime, he said the company would release a catalog of available widgets in two weeks so users could take better advantage of the third-party applications.

DeWolfe said MySpace's plans include a "sandbox" area on the site, where developers could ensure their apps were safe and secure before making them widely available to the millions of MySpace users.

He also said MySpace is experimenting with a new way for advertisers to "hyper-target" MySpace users based on their profiles. MySpace has identified 10 interest areas, which it's about to expand to 100, and eventually 1,000, that advertisers will be able to pick from. He mentioned "horror movies" and "action sports" as examples of these new groupings.

Facebook CEO and founder Mark Zuckerberg, who also spoke at the event, was more guarded about his site's next moves.

Zuckerberg avoided hints on where Facebook might head in the realm of development, saying only in response to a question, "There might be something in ads. In the next few months we'll have a lot more on that."

He also dodged a question from event program chair John Battelle as to whether Facebook plans an ad network that would extend beyond the site, similar to Google's.

"The kind of stuff we like to solve are deeply technical problems, like news feeds which computes what is most interesting to share with friends," Zuckerberg said. "That's a really technical, interesting problem."

Facebook currently has a deal with Microsoft to run its ad network.