BuddyWave is a new browser that’s completely focused on the tens of millions of MySpace users who generate 20 or so page views per day each on the site. The browser is downloadable on Windows machines. Most of the custom functionality requires signing into your MySpace account via the Browser. We had a lot of trouble getting the sign-in to work; however after a few tries we got in.
BuddyWave is a stripped down version of Internet Explorer 7, with some additional MySpace-specific functionality added. Click on the screen shot below for a larger view.
Like Flock, BuddyWave is specifically targeting the social networking crowd (although to compare Flock to BuddyWave isn’t appropriate – Flock is a full blown Mozilla based browser, whereas BuddyWave is at best a toy at this point in its development). BuddyWave has built in two main tools: an instant messenger-like friends list manager as well as an Ajax tool for editing your MySpace profile. See the demo (linked on their home page) to see these tools in action.
Now for the bad news. Since MySpace doesn’t have an official API, the browser is proxying requests back to MySpace on behalf of the user. This means MySpace can (and might) shut this down in a moment. Also, any change in forms or variables on the MySpace site will break BuddyWave, particularly athentication, until BuddyWave updates their software. BuddyWave has an auto-updater installed with the browser, probably to deal with these inevitable situations, although that is also an open door to allow BuddyWave to download and execute any other software they wish to send to your computer.
Also, the best feature of BuddyWave is the Ajax profile builder/editor. However, all they are doing is loading a third party editor, KillerKiwi, into a browser window. MySpace users can easily just go to that site themselves, from any browser.
In some ways BuddyWave reminds us of Browzar, another IE-based browser that launched last year and had fifteen minutes of fame. Unlike Browzar, though, we’ve seen nothing yet to indicate that BuddyWave is mostly a way to deliver ads to users.
If you spend most of your time on the Internet browsing MySpace, and you don’t mind using an IE based browser, BuddyWave may be something you’d use. If you don’t fall into that demographic, we suggest at least waiting until future versions have some of the kinks worked out.
The Company is based in New Mexico and was started by a group of “22 year old college dropouts.” The BuddyWave blog is here. One of the founders previously created MyWhatSpace, which we profiled last year.