SAN FRANCISCO, CA--MySpace might have gotten a stigma for its advertising and user spam, but the company is hoping to get a fresh start with its developer platform.
Jim Benedetto, vice president of technology for MySpace, discussed the company's current developer strategy with a group of 250 social application developers, entrepreneurs, and members of the press at the Snap Summit in downtown San Francisco. Benedetto didn't go into detail about this morning's announcement of the OpenSocial Alliance, and instead provided an overview of the development platform, including details about the upcoming integration of the MySpace's hypertargeting ad network.
The big takeaway is that MySpace desperately wants to ditch the stigma of being spammy. The company has taken stringent measures in the last several years to keep people from taking advantage of its huge member base to make a quick buck. Those same protocols are being ported over to the recently released developer platform, which unlike competitor Facebook, keeps developer applications from sending out mass invites or messages to other users. Instead users who want to invite their friends to use an application must do so one friend at a time, a move that MySpace hopes will curb people and application developers from trying to gain a huge user base with what many perceive to be spam in their social networking in-boxes. Benedetto stressed that developers need to build "useful apps," and "not just the most spammy and artificially viral apps possible."
Benedetto also discussed MySpace's advertising plans and how app developers will be able to take advantage of the service's hypertargeting program with their own apps later this year. The company has already seen a 300-percent increase in ad impressions from hypertargeted ads as opposed to the old system.
Hypertargeted ads, which were announced in November are similar to Google's AdSense, serving up contextually relevant advertising based on profile information and browsing habits on the social network. There are currently 150 advertisers participating in the program, but the company expects more to sign on with the advent of the developer platform.
One of the most impressive displays of hypertargeting so far revolves around the relationship statuses of MySpace members. People who have changed their status to married or engaged are served up with ads that have been custom-tailored for newlyweds or wedding planning or supply services. In an ideal world for MySpace, more advertisers signing on means the same idea could be implemented for other user information too.