MySpace Embraces Data Portability

MySpace is announcing breaking news in 17 minutes. Peter Kafka speculates that this is pertaining to MySpace’s decision to embrace data portability. I will be updating this post with more information as soon as I hear more details from the call. I’m now on the conference call and waiting for it to start. I will be posting live with call details.

Peter Kafka has just posted the press release prior to the call. According to the press release “MySpace, the world’s most popular social network, alongside Yahoo!, eBay, Photobucket, and Twitter, today announced the launch of the MySpace ‘Data Availability’ initiative, a ground-breaking offering to empower the global MySpace community to share their public profile data to websites of their choice throughout the Internet. Today’s announcement throws open the doors to traditionally closed networks by putting users in the driver’s seat of their data and Web identity. The launch of the Data Availability initiative marks the first time that a social Website has enabled its community to dynamically share public profile information with other sites.”

According to the press release, users will be able to update all of their profile information from one central location. This is a huge announcement and appears to be an alliance which does not currently include Facebook as an active participant. The system enables MySpace users to share profile information with other sites that they visit.

Mike Arrington is also providing more details prior to the call. According to Arrington, “data sharing is dynamic, meaning it is updated constantly.”

I’m now on the call. Chris DeWolf is first up on the call. Today they are announcing “MySpace data availability” which enables users to share their Myspace profile data content to other sites on the web. Chris is giving a historical backing about how social networks were never able to have data across platforms. Data will be shared across all other sites. Myspace wants your profile on Myspace to be your social address.

Amit Kapur is now reading through a lot more information which appears to be right of the press release. He is emphasizing that the new service is opt-in and is centered around Myspace. Myspace videos, friend network, photos and profile information will be shared and there will be a centralized location on the site that users can use to select which information is available to other websites.

Next up on the call is Jim Benedetto. He is talking about the technical implementations. There will be REST APIs that other services can integrate with. Myspace will also launch granular controls to privacy. As soon as this system launches it will be available to all websites across the internet. Jim is going through a deeper explanation of how this happens.

Caroline McCarthy has asked if OpenID is going to be part of this system. Jim’s response is that they will be using OAuth from the beginning and may potentially use OpenID in the future.

In response to the next question Amit Kapur is stating that this will be launched on a global basis and it is being launched immediately.

The next question is if MySpace is working with the Data Portability project on this. The response is that they are working with the Data Portability project with this and the first step is the “Data Availability” project.

The next question is when will this launch? The response is “the next few weeks.”

Saul Hansell asks if they can go into more detail on the terms. Jim says from the terms of service perspective is that Myspace needs to have strong control of the data caching on other websites. Other sites are not allowed to store or cache any data that is being provided to other websites.

Next question up is when will they be working with Facebook? Myspace says they are happy to work with Facebook or any other site on this project.

The call is finished. This is huge news and makes Myspace a central player in the data portability movement. I will be writing further analysis later in the day on this but for now this is a really big announcement and has just changed the face of the social web. This may be considered just as large of an announcement as the Facebook platform just under one year ago.

The concept of a centralized location to modify all of our personal information across the web is truly ground breaking. Looks like Myspace is officially back in the game. This also has the potential to counteract the whole social application movement and bring applications outside of the social network sites. Remember that concept of social networks as thin as air that Charlene Li previously talked about? This is the beginning of just that.

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