MySpace opens activity stream to external developers

The company will release a new set of APIs

In an aggressive move, MySpace will open its users' public activity stream data to external developers, so that third-party applications and Web sites are able to display these status updates and action notifications.

The activity stream data will become available to external developers via a new set of APIs (application programming interfaces) that MySpace plans to release on Wednesday.

"We have one of the larger real-time streams available on the Web," said Mike Jones, MySpace's chief operating officer. "We're giving full public access to that real-time stream to any developer who wants to ingest it."

In principle, it's a smart move for MySpace to keep exploring how to leverage its aggregate asset of user social behavior, according to IDC analyst Al Hilwa.

"Opening these APIs can lead to innovation and interesting ideas. It is the case of a thousand ideas of which one or more might stick," Hilwa said via e-mail.

However, Hilwa cautions against potential push-back from end-users who, despite making their postings public on their MySpace profiles, may dislike seeing them displayed and broadcast in external applications and Web sites.

"There are certain types of information which are harmless when viewed in isolation but when aggregated and streamed can lead to invasive profile shaping of individuals that might leave people uncomfortable," Hilwa said.

The about 110 million MySpace users worldwide generate about 46 million status updates and action notifications every day, such as when they post a message, add someone to their friend list, upload photos or videos, build a playlist or add a song to their profile.

With this move MySpace is clearly tapping into the popular trend established by social network and microblogging service Twitter, where people and organizations post short text messages, most of them public, on every conceivable topic, whether commenting on news, updating friends on their whereabouts or promoting goods and services.

Twitter from early on has made its stream data available to external developers, so that a thriving and vibrant ecosystem of third-party applications exists for Twitter users.

MySpace was once the world's most popular social-networking site but lost its crown to Facebook, as the latter lured users with a cleaner interface, more granular privacy settings and a platform with tens of thousands of third-party applications.

MySpace parent company News Corp. has shaken up its management this year in the hopes of jump-starting the site. News Corp. brought in former Aol CEO Jon Miller in April to be chairman and CEO of its Digital Media Group and its chief digital officer, overseeing the company's Internet businesses, including MySpace. Miller then tapped former Facebook executive Owen Van Natta to replace MySpace CEO Chris DeWolfe.

Since then, News Corp. has cut MySpace's staff in the U.S. and abroad, while trying to refocus the site on its traditional strengths of music and entertainment, while tapping into hot trends like microblogging.

In October, Miller said at the Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco that he was "obsessed" with real-time notification technology like the one Twitter has popularized, and that he wanted to see MySpace incorporate it. At that event, Miller also said MySpace's application was "too closed" to external developers, and that he hoped to see that changed.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags social networkssoftware developmentAPIMySpace

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Juan Carlos Perez

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?