After months of rumblings and announcements, MySpace is finally getting ready to pull the trigger on its long-awaited platform for developers. Starting today, programmers can sign up to register for the MySpace API program, which will go live on February 5th. The APIs will allow developers to create social applications for MySpace much like they can already for Facebook. The platform will be compatible with Google’s OpenSocial platform, meaning that applications written for OpenSocial will work on MySpace with a few minimal tweaks.
MySpace has a lot of catching up to do with Facebook in terms of building a loyal community of developers. For one thing, Facebook is far ahead technology-wise, with nearly 15,000 apps written for the site. But competition is always welcome. One way for MySpace to attract developers would be to offer better economic incentives. Amit Kapur, who is MySpace’s newly-appointed COO (reported first here a week ago), tells me he is most excited about helping developers make money:
Yeah, I think ultimately that may be an area where we are able to differentiate. If you look at the past, companies like Photobucket and YouTube did contribute to the success of MySpace. They were continuing to build on the user experience in ways we were not focused on. Philosophically, we want to make that easier for companies.
As we find out more details about how the economics will shake out, we’ll keep you posted. Kapur also mentioned that the three big areas MySpace is focusing on right now are: making the Web more personal, more portable (through both mobile and data portability), and more collaborative. It is a fair bet that social apps that focus on those areas are likely to receive more attention from MySpace.