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MySpace Targets Android Developers

Wed, 05/19/2010 - 8:32am
Monica Alleven

MySpace is at the Google I/O conference in San Francisco this week to bring developers up to date on the latest MySpace SDK for Android.

The SDK for Android will allow developers to take MySpace and integrate it into their own apps, says Bjorn Laurin, vice president of Mobile for MySpace. A similar SDK will be released next week for iPhone.

MySpace SDKs are available for other platforms, but the company is particularly focused on Android and iPhone now in part because it has seen a 230 percent growth in unique users with Android over the past year or so. "We've seen Android exploding the last year," he says.

And MySpace Co-President Mike Jones says mobile is a big part of the company's strategy going forward. "Mobile is a big, big focus of ours," he says. More than 30 percent of the MySpace audience touches the site through mobile today and a year from now, he expects that number to rise above 50 percent.

MySpace is usually included among the social networks increasingly incorporated in new mobile phones, but it's been dwarfed attention-wise by Facebook and Twitter. Even comedians like Stephen Colbert have joked that lawmakers concerned about Facebook's privacy policies can just visit MySpace and "you can have all the privacy in the world."

But comedians, like musicians, historically have used MySpace to help establish or kickstart careers, and that's one area MySpace intends to stay focused on. The way Jones describes it, MySpace is focused on users discovering new content and artists getting discovered.

Traditionally, MySpace was a place to discover new bands and artists, and creative leaders used the site to create profiles and build fan bases. MySpace wants to continue being a leader in that arena and expand into other categories. Games are consuming an equal amount of time on the website as music and "we take games very seriously," Jones says.

One thing the site does not want to be known as is a place that basically involves exchanging baby photos and the like, which has become common on a lot of social networks. While that's all well and good, it's not really tied to the concept of rich discovery of the sort that Jones wants to foster. As for those Facebook and Twitter users, "it's not about winning users over from another system," he says. "We're going to show you new things."

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