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In A Bid To Counter Facebook, MySpace Allows Developers Access To Its Service

MySpace, the world's largest online social network, has recently announced that it will allow outside developers further access to its service to counter the growth of smaller rival Facebook.

News Corp chairman Rupert Murdoch joined MySpace chief executive Chris DeWolfe to make the announcement before Silicon Valley's Internet elite and answer questions about the media conglomerate's digital future. "We are opening our platform in the next couple of months," DeWolfe said, confirming months of speculation that MySpace would follow in the footsteps of Facebook, which emerged as a serious competitor after allowing software developers to create applications for its users.

Murdoch's purchase of MySpace for $580 million in 2005 crowned him as the smartest media executive at the time, once rivals realized the potential of its growing base of users for promotions and advertising. However, privately-held Facebook has surged to a strong second place in the social network world since it opened its site a year ago beyond an original base of college students and started allowing in May independent software makers to build applications for users and profit from it.

While MySpace remains the leader with nearly 110 million users, Facebook's rapid growth to over 47 million members has made it a new media darling, with media reports pegging its potential value to investors as high as $15 billion.

Vanessa Arellano Doctor

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