Following its name change and $6.8m financing round last April, the European social networking site Netlog had already stated an intention to release a developer platform with support for custom APIs. In fact, it plans to become a bit of a European evangelist for OpenSocial. That means developers can use a common set of programming interfaces on sites including Google, Orkut, MySpace, Yahoo!, Hi5 and Friendster, as well Netlog.
Today it is due to announce that it will open up its its translation and localisation capabilities to third-party developers. But Netlog will only be accepting applications which keep people in the site. It will refuse applications forcing the user to leave the site, install the application or invite friends. Applications can be branded, co-branded or sponsored. Developers receive 100% of the advertising revenues on the “canvas view” of the application. Developers will also be granted access to Netlog’s “credits economy” allowing developers the opportunity to monetise by charging credits, gleaning advertising revenues or to incentivise by giving credits away.
Meanwhile, as we reported earlier, Netlog still has issues dealing with prowlers on its system. Today a UK man has walked free from a court after being acquited of having drug-fuelled sex with a girl he thought was over the age of legal consent. She wasn’t. The girl said in court that she had been was inundated with messages from men who logged on to her Netlog profile.
And back in August a girl of 15 who was feared to have fled to Turkey to meet two men who befriended her on Netlog, was eventually found by police safe in Belgium.
In TechCrunch UK recently investigated and found that it was pretty easy to contact minors on Netlog’s system, so I hope they will be addressing this issue ASAP.
In its defence Netlog says it has consulted with child protection agencies and charities like Child Focus, but it can’t “control things when people lie about their age.”