Live notes as I sit in the front row at Graphing Social Platform.
Web Strategy Summary
MySpace continues to beckon to developers to build widgets and applications on their social networks. They are friendly to industry-wide specs such as OpenSocial and are putting efforts to protect privacy, and uphold security. Despite this welcoming to developers, constraints are set in place to protect the user experience as well as provide incentive for developers to create thriving applications. A balance will need to be found to appease MySpace, Users, Developers, and eventually new marketers. If you’re seeking more on widgets, please visit all posts tagged widgets.
Current apps (as of today) are limited to 5 users, and is not full rolled out.
Developers will be able to create their own self revenue opportunities through canvas pages. The more money the developers can make on their own, or using MySpace’s Hypertargging ad network will be the monetization process.
Raw Notes from Jim’s Presentation below
-My Space users have been using applications for years, such as YouTube, Photobucket, slide, and RockYou for over 3 years.
-This provides creative opportunities
-and offers customization
-Overall, beneficial to users, develops and the MySpace ecosystem as a whole
MySpace Developer Platform API
-2) REST APIs (server to server) and Oauth authentication (open standard for data portability)
-3) Action Script APIs: Flash support (although silverlight can access it’s REST APIs, they haven’t decided if they want to create a sliverlight app)
-Why open social?
-Commitment to Open Standards
-Good for the internet as a whole (users to platforms)
-Portability: developers can spend time building apps, rather than rebuidling every social network
-Leverages other existing web technologies, no need to learn proprietary development languages.
-Also by keeping platforms open give opportunity for a larger eco-system from Users, Developers and Platforms
-Working closely with Google to drive the spec, and are currently supporting Version .6 and will move to .7 soon
-Myspace Specific extensions includes: Bulletins, And additional attributes for bands.
-User Homepage Surface: Powerful user specific surface, enables to show specific data to a user that might be relevant on a users profile
-For example: an eBay application that would track your individual bids, would be readily available on homepage.
-For example: or see ‘my’ twitter profiles of my updates, but on my profile page could be visible for everyone
-Summary: This creates a ‘homepage portal’ for users.
Security, Privacy, and Safety
-Have created internal filters and protections (they wont give details) to protect users
-Applications go through safety review process
-Apps will be governed by the same privacy controls that are in place for members
-Apps will never have access to information that cannot be found on any members profile page
-Have 100 employees reviewing code, images, and content being uploaded every day.
Balancing Virility and User Experience.
-Developers are incented to create applications to grow, but creating apps with little levels of utility may not be beneficial to long term eco-system
-Artificial spammy growth is not necessary.
-Initial apps will be able to innitiate the workflow for sending a message on a 1 to 1 basis.
(Left: I met and interviewed MySpace’s team Will and Jim)
I just got back from the brand spanking new SF MySpace office, an event tonight that was catered to the new developer platform which they announced today. This post isn’t aimed at developers, but at the Web Strategist (web decision maker) here’s what you need to know:
MySpace opens third party developer platform
MySpace announced a developer platform so third party developers can create applications on top of their existing commmunity. This is released on time, and is a competitive move to Facebook’s application platform. I’ve published stats and demographics about MySpace (and Facebook here). Over the next 30 days, developers will get to play in the ‘Sandbox’ (the theme for tonight’s party).
Here’s what to expect:
After watching this space, talking to MySpace techical staff, and talking to many developers at the event, here’s my predictions and insights.
1) MySpace builds strategic relationship with widget developer community
MySpace’s new SF office is a great foothold into Silicon Valley, in particular, to the widget developer community. Most of the widget network developers are located in this area, and by buidling relationships with them, there’s an opportunity they’ll launch their widgets on their container, fueling the next generation of MySpace. The schwag (pics below) really catered to the developer: a backpack full of shirts, flip video player, and a few toys for the beach. (for the sandbox)
2) Unlike Facebook, Developer and MySpace will partner and monetize
Unlike Facebook, it’s expected that developers will have direct access to monetize utilizing MySpace’s advertising tools. Although it wasn’t formally announced, expect hyper targeting, and other monetization opportunities to be available to developers.
3) MySpace respects Privacy
MySpace, a later adopter to this movement, let Facebook make it’s mistakes (newspage and Beacon) and will not suffer from the same issues. Expect Myspace to play it safe, and play it right, leaning on the mistakes from Facebook.
4) While not fully developed, expect platform to slowly evolve
It was very clear (I talked to many developers in the room) and they were all waiting to see what the platform was like, as very little was released, miany documentation. I asked during the Q&A session when all the APIs will be available, and they said “tonight…(looking over at colleagues) right?” Laughter from crowd erupted. There will be three APIs released each with different abilities. Also, applications can display in 5 different locations within MySpace, including a private area for the user to see the application without anyone else seeing it.
5) Widgets on MySpace react different than other Social Networks
Even if widgets can be easily ported over from Facebook to Myspace don’t expect them to work the same. Demographics (who they are), Psyhographics (their emotional drivers), and Technographics (how they use technology) will all be different. Expect very few of the successful applications in Facebook to perform the same way in MySpace.
6) MySpace, Facebook, and Bebo coexist
I can’t tell you how many times I’m asked “is Facebook a Myspace killer?” the answer is no, they are different tools from different audiences. They will coexist.
What it means:
Expect a lot of trial and error development to occur, this is really and experimentation stage for the next 3 months. The platform will ilkely have a lot of tweaking and expect a lot of experimentation from the developer community. In the long run, MySpace will be able to successfully monetize, developers will profit, and brands will start to get involved. Hopefully, the user experience will respect the wishes of the users, and it will be a win for all.
Recommendations to the Web Strategist
Unless you’re already a successful widget developer you should not engage, instead you should Wait and Watch, and see what applications work, and what won’t. Then, consider contacting those developer networks to rebrand successful applications, or go a step further and create interactive of social campaigns partnering with them, and lastly, developing your own widget.
Update: Thanks Steve Ames for the assistance, he spotted a few errors in text, more from Justin Smith.
Jay Stevens, an executive for MySpace EMEA, was one of the keynotes at Forrester’s recent Consumer Forum conference. He shared with me the value of community, his definition of community (find out what “peeping” is all about) and the opportunities afforded to marketers who use social networks to connect with customers. He gives a few kick steps to get started, a must-know for anyone getting ready, what’s the recommendation? Get a strategy.
I also was live blogging his presentation Marketing in a Networked Culture if you want to get more in depth information, thanks Jay for your time.