It looks like they were both right: TechCrunch was right in saying that MySpace was planning a platform to rival Facebook’s; Valleywag was right in saying it won’t premiere this week.
MySpace CEO Chris DeWolfe (speaking alongside Rupert Murdoch) announced yesterday that they “are opening our platform in the next couple of months,” according to Reuters.
The article has a few details about the pending platform (all emphasis added):
DeWolfe said he was seeking to create a far more lucrative environment for outside developers on MySpace than currently exists on Facebook, where so far advertising opportunities for independent application developers are limited. . . .
Importantly, the company plans to give developers control over advertising that runs on the Web pages they create to host new services on MySpace. “There is [sic] going to be paid revenue opportunities for all the developers,” DeWolfe said. . . .
MySpace also plans to take steps to protect its users from potential security problems or overload created by a sudden flood of new applications. It is setting up a “sandbox” version of the site for 2 million users who elect to get early access to new applications while they are still in test mode.
I can see it now: the rush to get in on the ground floor, to learn “MSML,” to replicate some of the apps that have already been successful on Facebook and to make sure you integrate advertising with your app.
Is this the missing step in everyone’s favorite formula to make money from social networks? (You know—step one: set up a social network. Step two: some magic happens. Step three: profit. They use that one in science all the time.)
Naturally, Reuters draws comparisons to Facebook—and Murdoch replied:
“I would say we’re different (than Facebook) and in spite of all the hype we seem to be growing faster,” Murdoch said.
Asked what he thought of . . . a [$15b Facebook] valuation, Murdoch added: “What it really does is it tells you that News Corp is totally underpriced.”
Will their more profitable platform seal MySpace as the dominant social network, or will it simply delay the inevitable?