MySpace, Facebook move to better promote third party apps

Companies look to help developers make money from apps created for the social networks

MySpace and Facebook this week separately announced plans to make it easier for developers to make money from applications they build and lob at users of the popular social networks.

MySpace, which officially launched its MySpace Development Platform February 5, Monday announced that it will allow third-party developers to use two different MySpace advertising programs to market their applications.

Amit Kapur, COO of MySpace, said that the company plans to allow developers to use both its Hypertargeting and Self Serve programs as part of a third phase of opening its platform to developers. Previously, the programs were open only to companies to advertise their products or services to MySpace users.

Kapur, who did not provide details on when developers could gain access to the programs, made the announcement at the O'Reilly Graphing Social Patterns (GSP) West 2008 conference here.

SelfServe allows users to create customized advertisements with a new ad creation tool and Hypertargeting allows advertisers to connect with specific user groups based on the interests they express in their MySpace user profiles.

"Application developers are businesses - maybe not today as much [as other businesses] but that is definitely coming in over time," Kapur added. "Application developers need to promote their products. They need to drive traffic."

Hypertargeting, Kapur noted, has already helped some advertisers boost click through rates by 300 per cent. The MySpace Hypertargeting program uses sophisticated machine learning tools to analyze all the information provided by users - including the background themes they choose for their profiles and the photos they post to their blogs - to identify what products or services the user may be interested in, he added.

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Heather Havenstein

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