MySpace thinking of opening APIs

MySpace is considering letting its millions of members transport their profile data to other sites or social networks by introducing APIs.

MySpace, the wildly popular social network, is considering letting its millions of members transport their profile data to other sites or social networks by introducing so-called APIs, or application protocol interfaces, according to Ross Levinsohn, president of News Corp.'s Fox Interactive, owner of the site.

"It's a great idea. It's something we've been looking at and considering," Levinsohn said Wednesday during the Web 2.0 Summit, in response to a question from an audience member .

Such a move would come on the heels of MySpace rival Facebook opening a developers' site so that people could transport Facebook data or build new applications around profiles, photos or events.

Levinsohn, who brokered News Corp.'s $580 million buyout of MySpace last year, also talked about Google's recent acquisition of YouTube for $1.65 billion. News Corp. apparently had been interested in buying the video-sharing site before the deal went down, according to Levinsohn. And immediately afterward, Fox Interactive met with Google-YouTube to ease into a new relationship, considering that MySpace had secured a $900 million multiyear deal with Google to supply search technology and advertising on the social network. (Levinsohn said Google began powering search and ads on MySpace on Monday in beta form.)

"On the Web, partners are competitors. You have to manage these things," he said.

Since News Corp. bought MySpace, the company has been investing tens of millions of dollars into the infrastructure of the social network, as well as combining it with other Fox Interactive properties, such as IGN, Levinsohn said. And despite no acquisitions in the last five months, Levinsohn said that Fox Interactive is always looking at new companies to buy. He said he met with several upstarts at the Web 2.0 conference Wednesday morning.

Indeed, what's hot online and in Internet technology is a constant moving target.

"MySpace is a fantastic property today and if we don't pay 100 percent attention to it, it's a risk," he said.

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