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Social networks open doors to developers

By Janie Christine Octia
First Posted 15:42:00 11/09/2008

Filed Under: Social networking, Internet

MANILA, Philippines--Google together with social networks Friendster, Globant, eXo Platform and hi5, have opened their doors to Filipino developers through the first-ever Google DevFest in the country.

Google DevFest welcomed over 380 local developers to a one-day technical workshop where they are taught to build social web applications using the OpenSocial platform. The Philippines is the fourth and last leg of the South East Asia Google DevFest tour which went to Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

"Filipinos are very social by nature; they use a lot of social networking and we expect Filipino developers to create some apps that Filipino users will find useful," says Google Developer Advocate Patrick Chanezon.

With the social network phenomenon and the growing number of applications available on social networks for users, several sites have teamed up to create OpenSocial--a set of common APIs (application programming interface) for building social applications.

Through OpenSocial, applications from developers can run on many different websites without requiring duplicate work from either developers or social networks. Some of the members of OpenSocial include Friendster, iGoogle, imeem, LinkedIn, MySpace, orkut and Yahoo!, among others.

OpenSocial also has a testing service which monitors and approves the social applications being submitted by developers before making them available to the users.

Chanezon finds this beneficial to both developers and social networks. While social networks concentrate on managing users and their activities, developers provide social applications for users to choose from.

"The bottom-up innovation that comes from developers is much better. Our belief in Google Developer Program is that you should give the tools and infrastructure that they need to get ready and create the applications. End users get applications that they can interact with that social networks will not have the time or idea to built," says Chanezon.

One of the members of the OpenSocial community, social network Friendster alone has over 30 million registered accounts in the Philippines, bigger than its 24 million Internet population according to Jeff Roberto, Friendster Director for Marketing and PR.

"Active users are about 24.4 million so basically, just about every user Internet user in the Philippines uses our site. We have approximately 850 applications live in the network and thousands more in development. I know the number of registered developers with Friendster from the Philippines is actually the highest number next to the US," says Roberto.

In an interview with INQUIRER.net, Roberto stated that developers can monetize from their social applications through CPM (cost per impression), lead generation, subscription services, commerce and integrated sponsorship or brand advertisers. Friendster gives the developers 100% of the revenue acquired from their social applications.

The DevFest tour also organized the OpenSocial Gadget Contest for developers to use their coding skills and creativity to build social applications. Winners will be picked by a panel of judges from Google and other OpenSocial members.

The top winner will receive a Nintendo Wii while the rest of the winners get an Apple iPod Touch but more importantly, winning social applications will be promoted on different social networks.

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