The MySpace Application Gallery graduates from Beta
MySpace has declared the Beta phase of its Application Gallery - a directory of third-party apps created under the social network's official Developer Platform - complete. "For the first time, the Gallery will be promoted and fully available to MySpace users, meaning that all consumer facing Application Gallery components will be live", notes the press release. In other words, third-party applications will now feel the full effects of MySpace's viral machinery, which should lead to much greater take-up, as applications become fully exposed to the site's millions of users.
- The MySpace.com home page will feature an Application Gallery icon at the top of the page, so users can easily be directed to the Gallery
- Users will have one-click access to the Application Gallery from their home page through their individual “Control Panels”
- The Application Gallery splash page will be launched with featured apps in effort to further promote applications and support developers
When the Beta version of the MySpace Application Galley first launched last month, I noted that most apps had been installed only a few hundred times. One third-party developer, Mike Berkley of SpashCast, suggested at the time that the lack of fanfare associated with the Beta launch was "due to the fact that the MySpace Platform is still very much vapor-ware." Berkley said that while the skeleton of an API exists, the guts were missing. "It’s a bit disappointing that even after 10 months of watching and learning from Facebook, MySpace couldn’t even bring a fully-implemented product to market - much less a game-changing product." For a piece of so-called vapor-ware, the MySpace Platform has approved over 1,000 applications and there have been over 2.1 million application installs across the site.
Now that MySpace is putting its full marketing weight behind official third-party applications, we'll soon be able to get an even fuller picture of their popularity and how the developer platform fares against Facebook in terms of reach.
Facebook chat is now available to everybody
Facebook's IM functionality is now rolled out site-wide, meaning that every Facebook user automatically gets access to 'Facebook Chat'. The Web-based Instant Messaging service makes use of your existing Facebook friend list, and works as an overlay at the bottom of the screen when you're logged into the site. While the service loses a few marks for being completely proprietary without an open API (so no third-party client support), in terms of usability, Facebook has done a really good job. It's very intuitive and friction-free, and should go a very long way to making the site that bit more sticky. In my testing I chatted with an IT manager friend of mine, and quickly came to the conclusion that Facebook Chat will give IT departments around the world yet another reason to consider blocking Facebook ;)