Flitting about could get a lot easier for social butterflies on the Web if MySpace makes good on an effort to let users share their profile data with other sites.
Starting in a few weeks, the social networking site says it will be easy for users to designate which parts of their MySpace profile they want to share—and where they want to share it. "MySpace no longer operates as an autonomous island on the Internet," cofounder Chris DeWolfe told reporters.
By changing the photo they use on their MySpace profile, users would also and instantly change the photo used on other sites. Initial partners include eBay, Yahoo, Photobucket, and Twitter.
The data sharing could solve one of the biggest problems for Web socializing. Users quickly get frustrated trying to keep multiple profiles up to date.
It's a potential blockbuster move by MySpace, if it can get other sites to sign up. MySpace users could begin to view their profile there as sort of a central control panel for their presence on the Web.
But Facebook, which is MySpace's biggest competitor and gaining market share, was notably absent from the list of partners. That might be because, at least for now, MySpace will let the butterflies flutter in only one direction. Profile data from other sites cannot be posted to MySpace.