MySpace launches developer platform

New site aims to help developers build and test applications for the social network

As expected, MySpace Tuesday launched a new site and released code that will allow developers to build applications for the popular social networking site.

The new MySpace Developer Platform site will be open to developers for a month to build and test applications in a live environment. The applications will not be visible to consumers until March, MySpace said.

The site includes three sets of APIs -- Google OpenSocial with MySpace extensions to enable JavaScript and HTML; action scripts that allow Flash to communicate directly with MySpace APIs; and Representational State Transfer, or REST, APIs to speed up applications.

In addition, the new site includes a developer team blog that will provide developers with product updates, news and documentation.

Beginning next month, the platform will be rolled out to users who can add the MySpace applications to their personal home and profile pages. All of the applications created on the new site will be able to access publicly available profile information including a user's friends list, interests, photos and albums, video and status notifications, according to MySpace.

"The future of the global social Web will leverage the creativity of the masses to produce meaningful and diverse social experiences, pushing the industry to be more innovative and progressive," said Chris DeWolfe, CEO and co-founder of MySpace, in a statement.

"We are committed to lowering the barrier to entry for developers around the world to build a more collaborative and dynamic Internet, while empowering our members to take control of their online presence in new and exciting ways."

MySpace will also be putting into place new security technology to ensure that all applications are safe, the company added. One new tool is Caja, a JavaScript sanitizer being developed by Google with MySpace to make JavaScript safer for use on social networking sites.

Applications created on the developer platform will be policed by the same privacy controls now in place for members, added Aber Whitcomb, MySpace CTO. For example, an application will never have access to information that cannot be found on any member's profile page, Whitcomb noted. In addition, applications will be reviewed for safety before going live, MySpace said.

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Heather Havenstein

Computerworld
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