MySpace to developers: Come play in our sandbox!

For one month, eager code monkeys will be able to fool around with the News Corp.-owned social-networking site's developer platform before it officially goes live.

As expected, MySpace has announced that it will launch its developer platform on Tuesday morning.

MySpace, which is owned by News Corp.'s Fox Interactive Media, is one of the most high-profile social media companies to be working with Google's new OpenSocial standard. All applications for the MySpace Developer Platform will be OpenSocial-compatible with MySpace-specific extensions.

A look at MySpace's developer site. MySpace

Developers will have access to all public profile data (interests, region, friends' list) and will be able to use JavaScript and HTML as well as ActionScript, which powers Flash applications. Most of the HTML widgets that have become so popular on MySpace profiles were created with Flash; Flash applications on the MySpace platform will now be able to integrate the site's application program interfaces (APIs) so that they can access deeper site and user data.

Kyle Brinkman, general manager of the MySpace platform, told CNET News.com that for added security the platform will be using a Google-developed technology called "Kaja" in order to keep vulnerabilities out of the code, particularly JavaScript. Applications will have to go through a review process before they go live, but Brinkman was unable to say just how long that process will take.

Developer platforms became the craze du jour among social-networking sites when Facebook made a splash with its widget initiative last May. Other social networks, like Bebo and LinkedIn, have already launched their own versions; Google's OpenSocial has promised a universal standard, but most social networks have opted to create their own add-ons and extensions.

MySpace has hyped up the fact that, unlike rival Facebook, it will not be forging any deals with "launch partners" who have early access to the platform. It won't go live to MySpace users until early March, which means that developers have a one-month window in which they can create and tweak their applications, test them out in "sandbox" profiles, and prep them for a full launch. When the platform is fully live, MySpace users will be able to browse and select applications through an official "application gallery."

As a kickoff for the MySpace Developer Platform, the company will hold a party for interested developers at its new San Francisco office on Tuesday night; events in London and Berlin will follow in the coming days.

About the author

Caroline McCarthy, a CNET News staff writer, is a downtown Manhattanite happily addicted to social-media tools and restaurant blogs. Her pre-CNET resume includes interning at an IT security firm and brewing cappuccinos.

 

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