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By | Phil Manchester 4th February 2008 18:00

MySpace to throw out code

Social slump

If all goes well then MySpace will open its platform to developers on Tuesday, in keeping with plans announced last October. Details are vague but the youf social networking arm of Rupert Murdoch's media empire has at least confirmed the platform will support Google's OpenSocial interface.

The timing couldn't be worse. Besides lagging pimply faced rival Facebook's decision to open up its platform to developers in May 2007, the move comes at a time of apparent declining interest in social networking. A bit like the Citizen's Band (CB) radio fad in the 1980s, the novelty appears to be wearing off now people have discovered its limited usefulness.

It's not only the masses who are asking questions. Commenting on Google's latest results last week, chief financial officer George Reyes noted the search and ads powerhouse was having problems making money from what he called the "social networking inventory" including MySpace.

There are two schools of thought on the potential of MySpace's developer platform. One suggests that it is too late and Facebook already has the advantage. The other has it that MySpace has learned valuable lessons from Facebook's experiences in the last six months - not least being what not to do. Facebook has had a mixed reaction to some of the applications it has hosted and, in the case of the tell-all Beacon application, was forced to change its plans.

MySpace has specifically ruled out a Beacon like application - but will probably find some other means of annoying people. Either way, those of you wanting a slice of the action can register here

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