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MySpace Pushing New Apps Hard

After watching from the sidelines for almost a year while rival Facebook had praise heaped upon it by the press for the success of their application platform, it is no wonder that MySpace would be pushing its recently released developer platform hard. It has been just about 3 weeks since the first few apps were unleashed on the MySpace public, and over the past two days MySpace had made a pair of announcements that demonstrate just how much the company is committed to seeing their platform succeed.

Press Opps For Apps

First, MySpace is taking the unorthodox move of giving applications some access to their PR department. MySpace announced on Monday that it is looking for a few good apps with whom to put out joint press releases. This is undoubtedly a good move for MySpace PR because it allows them to create a more continuous buzz about the platform. But like the platform itself, sharing the stage with app developers is a surprising shift from old policies for the News Corporation-owned social network.

This is, after all, the same News Corp. whose President and COO Peter Chernin said in 2006, by way of introducing plans for MySpace to compete with many of the companies that had helped it grow, “If you look at virtually any Web 2.0 application, whether its YouTube, whether it’s Flicker, whether it’s Photobucket or any of the next-generation Web applications, almost all of them are really driven off the back of MySpace.”

It’s the same Fox Interactive Media (the arm of News Corp. that controls MySpace) whose Chief Revenue Officer Michael Barrett said last year, “We probably should have stopped YouTube. YouTube wouldn’t exist if it wasn’t for MySpace. We’ve created companies on our back.”

And it’s the same MySpace that famously blocked widgets (such as YouTube and Photobucket — the latter of whom it eventually bought) that competed with products of its own.

But a lot has changed in the past year. Not only has MySpace embraced the idea of an application ecosystem and launched a developer platform, but they also announced plans in January to create a startup incubator. Is it too little, too late, though? Will MySpace’s platform be as successful as Facebook’s has been?

Apps in the News Feed … Er, Friend Subscriptions

Yesterday, MySpace also announced that it would begin pushing notifications of app installations to its Friend Subscriptions — their equivalent of the Facebook News Feed.

Interestingly, while MySpace is just rolling out this feature, Facebook has recently begun to impose restrictions on how applications interact with the News Feed in an effort to combat information overload and growing noise. It will be interesting to see if MySpace repeats the same mistakes Facebook has made, or learns from them and implements tighter restrictions on it Friend Subscriptions from the start.

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