MySpace today opened a test version of its applications gallery, and allows its members to install programs built by external developers participating in the social-networking company's developer program.
However, the main goal behind the opening of the gallery is to give developers a first look at how their applications behave in the real world in the hands of MySpace members, in case modifications or fixes need to be made to applications.
As such, MySpace members who install applications now, when the gallery is public but in "beta" phase, are acting as early adopters, and should know that the applications may need refinement or may malfunction. As the applications and the developer platform continue to mature in the coming weeks, MySpace will promote the gallery more broadly on the site.
The applications in the gallery are compliant with Google's OpenSocial initiative, which established a set of common APIs for building social-networking applications in order to simplify the development process.
MySpace's developer program, announced in October, has been taking shape in recent months, as MySpace follows the lead of Facebook, which opened its social-networking site to external developers in May last year.
Facebook's developer program has led to the creation of more than 14,000 applications and, despite some growing pains, has been generally embraced by both application makers and members of the social-networking site, and credited with boosting Facebook's popularity. After Facebook's move, MySpace and other major social-networking players launched similar programs, an acknowledgement that doing so can yield significant benefits.
MySpace launched the developer platform about a month ago, drawing about 5,000 application makers since then. Applications have been built in categories like music, movies, politics and polls.