Bebo opens its doors to developers

Bebo is now free for developers to invadeIf you’re a Facebook user then by now you’ll have no doubt been bitten by countless zombies, had apple pie thrown at you, been tickled, punched, kissed, and kicked. Not for real of course, but in a ‘virtual’ way, which is much cooler. Apparently. Anyway, developers of these Facebook apps can now port their apps to Bebo, after the popular social networking site opened its developer platform for all.

The platform is basically a copy of Facebook’s API, a wise move for Bebo, as it makes it pretty easy for developers to clone their apps for the site. The alternative for Bebo was to wait for Google’s OpenSocial developer platform to be released but that won’t be until later this year, and by jumping on an existing tried-and-trusted solution, the site can now steal a march on the other social networking services, who are waiting for the Google solution before opening their gates for developers.

Far from being rivals, Bebo and Facebook are actually working together on this, as they see themselves as providing users with distinctly different services. Bebo co-founder Michael Birch once said using Facebook was like “hanging out at a wine bar,” while Bebo is more like a karaoke club for high-school kids.

It seems developers have already begun targeting their Bebo apps at the bubblegum generation. For instance,there’s PhotoFX, which lets you add glitter, hearts and other sugary effects to your images; the 50 Cent Fancy Cube; and Warbook – a fantasy game in the style of Warhammer. It will be interesting to see whether the trend towards these types of applications continues, or if we’ll see more ‘high-brow’ add-ons for the site, which, you could argue, might change the whole dynamic of Bebo and see it becoming a carbon copy of Facebook. Perhaps all these social networking sites are turning into zombies themselves…

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