May 8, 2008 / 5:04 PM / 10 years ago

MySpace to let users share profile across the Net

NEW YORK (Reuters) - News Corp’s MySpace social network will let users choose to share their public profile information, such as pictures, videos, and text, across the Web to spread its service beyond its own borders.

At launch, the new “data availability” function will let users share their information on sites owned by Yahoo Inc, eBay Inc, Twitter and its own Photobucket, MySpace Chief Operating Officer Amit Kapur told Reuters in a phone interview.

“MySpace no longer operates as an isolated island on the Internet,” Kapur said. “The walls are coming down.”

MySpace’s decision to makes its user data available is part of a Web-wide move to adopt open standards.

Along with other big companies including Google Inc and Yahoo, MySpace has backed the OpenSocial network which aims to create a set of technological specifications that lets software developers build games, photo shows and other applications that can run on any network.

MySpace users will be able to control where and what types of information will be shared, a feature that can be turned on and off at any time. MySpace is also restricting other sites from storing user data from MySpace users.

People who sign up to Twitter, which lets users publish quick messages on a Web site, will not have to retype their information or upload pictures of themselves onto the new site again even if the information is changed on MySpace.

The reverse won’t work however. “If other sites choose to follow our lead and begin sharing their data as well, we think that’s great,” a MySpace spokeswoman said.

The new function, available to any site that signs up, is a move by MySpace to protect its dominance in the social network category from fast-growing Facebook, even as it opens up its system to partners and rivals.

“We’re happy to work with Facebook if they want to join up with our effort,” MySpace Chief Executive Chris DeWolfe said on a conference call.

Earlier in the day, News Corp shares rose as much as 4.3 percent following its quarterly earnings report, which showed strong growth at its television businesses despite a slowing U.S. economy.

News Corp said on Wednesday that Fox Interactive Media, which runs MySpace, will miss its $1 billion revenue target for this fiscal year, but executives said they were making progress in boosting revenue and profitability.

Reporting by Kenneth Li; editing by John Wallace, Richard Chang

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