MySpace follows Facebook by opening up platform

MySpace is allowing outside developers further access to its platform to counter the growth of rivals like Facebook.

MySpace follows Facebook by opening up platform

“We are opening our platform in the next couple of months,” MySpace chief executive Chris DeWolfe confirms, ending months of speculation that the site would follow in the footsteps of Facebook, which emerged as a serious competitor after allowing software developers to create applications for its users.

For four years MySpace has allowed users to embed features from other websites by pasting bits of code on their pages, however, Facebook’s open call to developers has already attracted 6,000 independent applications to its site.

DeWolfe says he is seeking to create a far more lucrative environment for outside developers on MySpace than currently exists on its rival, where advertising opportunities for independent application developers are limited.

“The idea will be to allow outside developers to tightly integrate their applications into MySpace,” DeWolfe explains, claiming that software programmers will be able to control key aspects of how features like photos or user authentication work, allowing them to build complex web services.

The company also plans to give developers control over advertising that runs on the web pages they create to host new services. “There is going to be paid revenue opportunities for all the developers,” adds DeWolfe.

MySpace also plans to take steps to protect its users from potential security problems by setting up a “sandbox” version of the site for those users who elect to get early access to new applications while they are still in test mode.

The announcement continues a frenzied week of maneuvering for the company, which has already announced a streaming music partnership with Sony BMG and a tie-up with Skype to offer free calls through its instant messaging client.

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