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MySpace published Thursday application programming interfaces that enable developers to connect to user content on the Web's largest social network.
The idea behind the initiative is to give MySpace users the option of sharing their profiles, photos, and friends networks with other sites. Besides the APIs, MySpace has developed a library of relatively simple client-side controls, so Web sites with minimal technical expertise can also leverage MySpace content.
In order for users to share information, they must first go to a central privacy control panel on MySpace and chose the information they want to share and the sites they want to share it with. For now, users are able to share basic profile information, photos, personal videos, and friend networks. Third-party Web sites can embed a button on their own properties to take MySpace users to the control panel.
At anytime, MySpace users are able to stop sharing information with any site immediately. To support this feature, MySpace does not allow other sites to cache or store user data. All data remains with MySpace.
Similar initiatives by rival Facebook and other social networks are expected over time to build huge networks in which to offer services to a far larger pool of people and open up a potentially lucrative advertising channel. MySpace, however, has said its current plans do not include any advertising deals. The site accounts for about 75% of U.S. visits to social networks, according to Web metrics firm Hitwise.