The long-rumored MySpace API set for developers may see the light of day at a Web 2.0 conference next week.
The blog site TechCrunch reports that third-party developers have been contacted for input into MySpace Platform, which will be formally introduced at the Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco next week.
The fact that MySpace co-founder Chris DeWolfe and News Corp. chairman Rupert Murdoch will be hosting a dinner on Wednesday night would seem to buttress this claim. MySpace is part of Fox Interactive Media, a News Corp. company.
FIM declined to comment on the rumors when contacted by InternetNews.com.
Facebook threw down the gauntlet in May when it launched Facebook Platform, which would allow third party applications to run along side Facebook apps. It was widely believed that MySpace would follow suit, especially after DeWolf told the Financial Times in June that he found Facebook Platform interesting and would do something similar.
Facebook started out as a site just for college students but expanded quickly beyond that. MySpace grew to gargantuan proportions but was largely a magnet for teens. Facebook was seen as the place for adults.
This, coupled with more than 5,000 third-party applications and the right to keep money made from selling advertising on one’s page, had tremendous appeal, and MySpace began to suffer for it.
Tim Bajarin, president of the consultancy Creative Strategies, isn’t surprised at all by MySpace’s move. “It’s really part of an inevitable process that MySpace had to take to keep people from jumping to Facebook or whatever else is hot,” he told InternetNews.com.
Bajarin said part of the problem for MySpace was that it only offered its customers a chance to spruce up their pages with MySpace-provided technologies, whereas Facebook allowed for much more customization and versatility in designing the page.
The result was MySpace pages all tend to have the same structure, just a different skin, while Facebook pages are more complex and don’t all look alike. “The whole concept of opening the APIs is for third parties to get on there and create applications that are targeted toward a particular audience and more useful,” Bajarin said.