charging app developers for the "featured" spots in its App Gallery, which it officially launched last week. The Gallery has featured spots for applications on its main page and on each of 22 category pages. O'Neill is reporting that the price of advertising on the featured spots is between $50,000 and $100,000 per week.According to a Nick O'Neill at the Social Times blog, MySpace is
So far, it looks like Slide has been the only taker and their applications occupy all four featured spots on the main page of the Application Gallery. "This is the first platform which has actively attempted to generate revenue directly from application developers," said O'Neill, who thinks that this could spell trouble for smaller app developers whose applications may be marginalized in the gallery by apps paying MySpace for extra promotion.
Facebook faced a small backlash from some developers last month when it appeared that the network was playing favorites with partners.
We noted in early April that MySpace was planning to put out joint press releases with app developers. Giving app developers access to the Fox Interactive Media PR machine was an unorthodox step but it showed developers that the company was serious about pushing apps developed for its platform. Any goodwill that may have been built with developers though, might be lost if MySpace starts playing favorites with well-funded, larger app companies.
App spam, which has been a problem on Facebook, is another issue that MySpace may need to contend with. We're all curious how they will deal with it once the applications platform grows (MySpace currently has 1,000 apps in their Gallery, compared with nearly 24,000 at Facebook); we hope their solution won't be to charge premium access to advertising in the "Friend Subscriptions" feed.
That said, paid advertising for apps within the the confines of the Application Gallery seems pretty benign. It's not much different than application developers paying to place Social Ads on Facebook (something that Facebook encourages on their ad sales page). As long as MySpace makes sure that paid promotion doesn't come at the expense of other applications in its Gallery, they should be fine.
What do you think of MySpace charging for premium real estate in their Application Gallery? Fair game or does it spell trouble for smaller app developers? Will it discourage some developers from utilizing natural viral channels? Let us know in the comments.