Friendster developer platform goes live with over 180 apps

This social network has largely fallen from favor in the U.S., but Friendster is nevertheless following in Facebook's footsteps and launching an extensive developer initiative.

Caroline McCarthy Former Staff writer, CNET News
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.
Caroline McCarthy

Friendster has fully launched its developer platform with more than 180 applications available to its 56 million registered users, the social-networking site said Tuesday.

The company first announced the platform on October 25.

The developer platform was initially piloted by some well-known names in the widget world: Slide, RockYou, Imeem, Jangl, Clearspring, and Gbox. Companies and individual developers participating in the program are allowed to advertise anywhere in the application space and keep all revenue.

According to the social network, the platform is going to be as "open" as possible to make it easy for applications designed for other sites to make their way to Friendster, and vice versa. Friendster is a partner in the Google-led OpenSocial initiative and has said that OpenSocial APIs will be integrated into the Friendster Developer Platform when the much-stalled OpenSocial is "completed and secure."

This is not the first time that we've seen an OpenSocial partner go ahead and launch its own developer platform before Google's standard has gone live; business networking site LinkedIn announced its InApps platform earlier this week.

A victim of the soaring popularity of MySpace.com and then Facebook, Friendster has fallen from favor in the U.S. But the company currently claims a large chunk of the social-networking market share in the Asia-Pacific region--a fact that prompted Friendster to start launching versions of the site in different languages in the fall. Some of Friendster's developer applications reflect this: Yobo.com, for example, has created a Chinese-language music discovery application.