KickApps, provider of “white label” social networking functionality for existing websites, has been making strides to open up its hosted platform to both web and application developers.
Webmasters who want to integrate KickApps’ social networking features – such as user profiles, videos, photos, and blogs – typically use the company’s Affiliate Center, an online control panel with which you can modify the way those features look and function. For power users, KickApps provides an API that gives webmasters more direct access to KickApps-hosted data so they can build more highly customized websites. Today they’ve published a KickApps API Developer Kit intended to help its customers take fuller advantage of that API by introducing them to its capabilities and inviting them to initiate custom development projects, which require close collaboration with the KickApps team.
More notably, KickApps has adopted Google’s OpenSocial developer platform standards and is working with Facebook to adopt that company’s standards as well. Just over a month ago, Bebo announced a developer platform that was essentially a clone of Facebook’s own platform. Bebo’s intention was to attract developers who had already designed their applications for Facebook and who would prefer not to rebuild them under a different platform standard. In the hours following Bebo’s announcement, Facebook made it clear that it encouraged the adoption of its platform standards by other social networks. KickApps appears to be the first white label social networking provider to get on board with this, and the second company after Bebo to declare its support for both OpenSocial and Facebook standards at the same time.
As for its OpenSocial support, KickApps says that it’s ready now for developers who want to build OpenSocial applications for KickApps-enabled websites. No applications have been developed yet, however, apparently because developers are not quite ready to take advantage of the standard.
KickApps will be releasing its latest version in a couple of weeks; we’ll return at that point to review its newest features. Our latest broad assessment of KickApps can be found in a round-up of white label social networking platforms we published this past summer.