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News Corp's MySpace, the world's largest online social network, said on Wednesday it will allow outside developers further access to its service to counter the growth of smaller rival Facebook.
"We are opening our platform in the next couple of months," DeWolfe said, confirming months of speculation that MySpace would follow in the footsteps of Facebook, which emerged as a serious competitor after allowing software developers to create applications for its users.
MySpace To Let Developers Create Applications [uk.reuters.com]
If you have a good idea for a community application, it's much quicker to get users for it on facebook than launching it on the web alone.
If you are launching a web 2.0 type of website now, without a facebook (or soon myspace) counterpart then you are seriously missing out.
They are only fads as much as web 2.0 itself is a fad.
When blogs got big, people reduced their "investment" in speaking on forums. And these are just regular folks who don't always make a living from what they write. Sooner or later websites will feel the same way about facebook/myspace etc.
There will be room for facebook style apps, sure. But investing in your site is a much safer bet and you won't regret that as much as investing and depending on facebook's success and coopertaion with your app. What if microsoft buys them and shuts down third party apps? (Just an example. There are many scenarios that can throw your investment down the drain.)
[edited by: Clark at 9:10 pm (utc) on Oct. 18, 2007]
I think throwing a bit of investment at these applications now is good business sense - even if it is just to use them as a viral marketing tool.
Does anyone here have a ten year plan for their website, other than building a better brand/bigger user base?
Clark, I agree with you that you shouldn't focus all your energy on these applications, but I don't think you should ignore them either.
A coherent strategy is required and that includes considering all the platforms - computer browsers, mobile browsers, social network applications, tv browsers, email, feed readers, desktop widgets, internet homepages (iGoogle etc).
I think you should try to be represented as widely as possible. Of course, some businesses wont find every platform appropriate.
The only answer is to bring your site to the users.
If you are a top destination and have enough cash to put a team on or two on these things, then go for it. I'd view it similar to advertising.