Friendster Announces Developer Platform
October 25, 2007
Friendster social network announced the upcoming release of the Friendster API Platform for third party developers today. The announcement comes only five months after Facebook announced its developer platform and less than one day after MySpace announced its own intentions of opening up to third party developers.
Similar to that of Facebook’s, Friendster’s API utilizes a REST-based interface to access details about their 50 million members. With each REST call, a widget-specific API key and secret key must be provided as query string parameters in the URL. However, unlike the Facebook Platform, which allows developers the opportunity to create full-scale applications, Friendster’s API is limited to creating widgets to be displayed in member profiles.
One very noticeable plus about the Friendster Developers Platform is the existence of a staging server for testing applications prior to moving it into production. Facebook developers do not currently have such a feature, making it difficult to test changes to applications that have already been released to Facebook’s member base. Friendster developers, however, may find much greater ease in performing maintenance and upgrades to their widgets.
Friendster will offer a widget directory akin to the Facebook application directory. Additionally, the social network will be adding a “My Network Module” component in order to promote friend-related news items much like Facebook’s News Feed. As seems to be the trend in opening social networks to third party developers, Friendster will allow developers to advertise with their widgets without requiring any share in earned revenue.
Widgets will not be available to Friendster users until November 30th, but developers can start developing widgets immediately in preparation for the official launch.