MySpace is set to formally announce their open application interface, MySpace Platform, sometime next week. This programming platform enables developers to create applications using a set of APIs that tie directly into MySpaceâ€™s social networking infrastructure. For more info, check out Techcrunchâ€™s comments.
One key element that MySpace got right in their developer program is allowing developers to monetize their apps by controlling their own advertising. Until now, the online marketing community has primarily focused on social media optimization and driving traffic to their websites. Now with the ability to create direct revenue streams that tap into the massive social networking population, I can see entrepreneurial developers creating applications that are similar to what has come out of affiliate marketing web services.
MySpace is not the first to venture into opening their platform. Facebook has had huge success in adding new and retaining members and attracting commercial dollars as direct result of their developer platform efforts. Of course, other social networks are joining the application bandwagon, namely Google. Googleâ€™s Orkut social network and iGoogle personal homepage service are announcing their APIs in early November. It will be very interesting to see how the big social networks continue to square off on this front.