NEW YORK MySpace has joined OpenSocial, Google's social-networking platform for developers, giving it added ammunition in its battle against Facebook.
OpenSocial provides a common set of tech standards that allow developers to create widgets that tap into social-networking data. Facebook opened its site to outside developers in May, inviting them to not only create applications on its platform, but also to make money from them by selling ads.
Since then, over 7,000 applications have been created on Facebook. They allow users to do everything from share book recommendations to turn each other into zombies.
MySpace is also allowing application developers to profit from their audience on the network. Like Facebook, it will not permit developers to place ads within user profiles but is allowing promos on application pages. For example, a movie recommendation engine could not show ads interspersed with a list of a user's favorite films—but if users clicked through to the application's landing page, the developer could serve ads.
MySpace has long been open to outside developers, although it has not allowed them to run ads with widgets. In April, it briefly disabled slide shows from Photobucket after the site began encouraging users to embed brand-sponsored content on MySpace pages. MySpace said this was a violation of its terms of service. The companies subsequently resolved their differences, and MySpace bought Photobucket in May. (News Corp. is MySpace's ultimate parent.)
OpenSocial lets developers create widgets that can run on several different sites. Facebook uses its own programming language, meaning they only work on Facebook.
OpenSocial's addition of MySpace links the initiative with the largest social network, boasting over 200 million members. Other social networks that have signed on include LinkedIn, Ning, Hi5 and Google's Orkut. Facebook is not a member.