MySpace Moves To Limit Spammy Applications, Just Like Facebook Did

MySpace may once again start to take action against third party applications that disrupt the user experience (or their revenue streams), it seems. Back before MySpace Platform this was limited to the occasional widget provider that got out of line. But third parties now have a broad arsenal of features to attack users and get additional installations and clicks. Messaging users is among the most effective, and most annoying.

Cofounder Tom Anderson is making a rare blogging appearance on the MySpace Developer blog this evening – outlining changes to their developer guidelines regarding how third party applications can communicate with users.

This is a a problem that Facebook has had to deal with extensively, including early changes to their platform to limit what we called “black hat” activity by application developers. Facebook has continued to refine the rules over time, but has also shown that they are willing to break their own rules when revenue is at stake.

MySpace has added a new section the guidelines called “Application Communications.” Specifically, applications are now restricted

  • No incentives may be given to a member for sending a message, bulletin, comment, or any other form of communication. This includes “points,” “bucks,” increased standing, or even features within the app.
  • It must be very clear to a member what they are sending, when they are sending communication. “Share with friends” is not sufficient messaging, the link must state “send comment,” “send bulletin,” and so on.
  • The “no popups” rule we have had in place since day one applies to messaging windows. This means no more popping up a messaging window the first time someone tries to use an app. No popping up messaging windows without a user clicking on a very clearly marked link.

Applications that are already live have two weeks to comply.