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MySpace launches new developer tools

The strategy here is to get MySpace content pushed out across the Web, with a new set of APIs that make its content more searchable and real-time.

Not willing to let Facebook and Twitter completely own the market for searchable, up-to-the-minute information, MySpace announced on Wednesday a set of new developer application programming interfaces (APIs) designed to let third-party sites access more of its content.

The new APIs offer a variety of features: letting third-party sites tap into MySpace members' status and "mood" updates, incorporate real-time activity information (this is something we saw implemented earlier this week in Google's real-time search announcement), upload photos to MySpace from external services, and make public MySpace content more searchable.

Developer announcements used to come out of MySpace regularly as it tried to keep up to speed in what used to be a close race with Facebook for social-networking mindshare. These days, MySpace has been focused more on restructuring: with its traffic increasingly eaten up by the fast-growing Facebook, the News Corp.-owned social site assembled a new executive team with solid entertainment industry experience and chose to put entertainment front and center instead. It's launched a streaming music service, buying several smaller rivals in the process, and is putting the MySpace Music product front and center.

In fact, word has it, MySpace will likely be adopting the Facebook Connect log-in standard soon, in a move that further indicates it's given up the battle for social-networking market share and hopes to promote its content offerings instead. Wednesday's developer announcements, made in conjunction with the Le Web conference in Paris, play right into the revamped MySpace strategy: it's about getting that content further out onto the Web.

The question, then, is whether developers will bite. To provide an incentive, MySpace has launched a developer contest running until January 4 to find the best implementation of the new APIs.