MySpace opens up its platform to external developers

Australian developers warm to MySpace Developer Platform.

MySpace has launched the MySpace Developer Platform site which will allow external software developers the chance to build applications for its users.

The applications are compliant with the OpenSocial initiative. The OpenSocial project was launched by MySpace and Google in November, and includes a set of APIs to help developers more easily make social applications work on multiple social networks.

Facebook's developer program, launched last year, has led to the creation of more than 14,000 applications and, despite some growing pains, has been generally embraced by both application makers and members of the social-networking site, and credited with boosting Facebook's popularity.

MySpace launched the developer platform beta about a month ago, drawing about 5,000 application makers since then. Applications have been built in categories like music, movies, politics and polls.

Australian developers have already taken to the platform, which is based on JavaScript.

Roland Irwin, product manager at TrueLocal, a News Corp company, will launch an application this week that runs a comparison against a user's profile and postcode and then pulls up the bars and restaurants relevant to their local area.

"We want to link up real world with online world," he said.

"We see it as a real extension to where we want to take our business to the users. We can see a real strength there by searching by peoples friends in the MySpace environment," he said.

Irwin said TrueLocal is already looking to build "smart, engaging applications" for the MySpace site.

Marcus Weichselbaum, CEO of TheBroth.com, said his company already developed apps for Facebook, including the "frivolous but fun" What's Your Stripper Name?. However, MySpace offers something different.

"We feel with the opportunities that MySpace is offering, we have got a lot more playground, the potential of doing things that don't make much sense on Facebook but are much better hosted on MySpace."

Allen Hurf, MySpace senior VP of engineering said once the apps are written they are viewed by MySpace developers for any errant or harmful code before going live. This process normally takes 24 hours.

(Juan Carlos Perez contributed to this report.)

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Howard Dahdah

Computerworld

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