Take That, Facebook: MySpace to Open Up to Outside Applications

Posted by: Rob Hof on October 17, 2007

MySpace CEO and cofounder Chris DeWolfe just announced officially at the Web 2.0 Summit minutes ago that it will indeed open up its platform to outside developers’ widgets, as rumored recently. TechCrunch appears to have broken the news first, but DeWolfe confirmed that in the next couple of months, it will have a “sandbox” for developers to try out their applications on some 2 million beta users.

Clearly, this is a play to match Facebook, whose momentum has skyrocketed since it opened up its platform in May. But DeWolfe said MySpace is proceeding more cautiously. “We’re going to do it in a little more measured approach,” he says. That may not please the most vocal advocates of openness, but it’s a good bet that MySpace’s much larger audience will get developers’ interest—especially since it has already in its limited way.

In response to a question from Marc Canter in the audience, DeWolfe says developers will be able to make money through a “control page” on MySpace, where they can sell advertising. “For all practical purposes, developers will own all the inventory on that page,” he says.

In his inimitable fashion, Marc also asks if MySpace will allow MySpace profile data to be exported to, say, Facebook. “Yes, as long as it’s secure and it’s safe for the users,” DeWolfe answers. “Certain key aspects of the profile,” he adds, which sounds like not all of it.

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Bloomberg Businessweek writers Peter Burrows, Cliff Edwards, Olga Kharif, Aaron Ricadela, and Douglas MacMillan, dig behind the headlines to analyze what’s really happening throughout the world of technology. Tech Beat covers everything from tech bellwethers like Apple, Google, and Intel and emerging new leaders such as Facebook to new technologies, trends, and controversies.

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