“Featured” App Status Not Free At MySpace

    May 2, 2008

Here’s a funny thing: if you visit the MySpace Apps page with AdBlock Plus enabled, the "Featured Applications" section appears entirely blank.  And as it turns out, developers are indeed paying to show up in those spots.

 Featured Applications = Ads?

Nick O’Neill put the price somewhere between $50,000 and $100,000 a week.  This sounds like a lot, and sure enough, it’s Slide (a company specializing in apps), instead of a few random fellas, that’s behind the current four Featured Applications.

O’Neill noted, "[T]here could be trouble for a lot of smaller application developers.  Want to get more exposure for your application or build up your user base?  You’ll have to pay MySpace if you want to do that in the short-run and will have [to] choose between using MySpace and other ad networks in the space in the long-run."

The situation may not be all bad, though.  Advertising has long been a pay-to-play medium, so MySpace’s arrangement is nothing new in that sense.  The social network will have to lower its prices if the demand’s not there.  Also, compared to individual developers, companies with deep pockets might be slightly less likely to provide users with terrible apps.

In any event, MySpace’s habit of being closely involved with its applications seems commendable for at least one reason.  Just yesterday, the BBC’s Spencer Kelly revealed a sort of security problem involving Facebook apps, and then wrote, "MySpace . . . manually checks all submissions and rechecks them if authors wish to change the code.  We were unable to create a similar threat to users’ security using the MySpace system."