It’s been a question that’s been floating around for the past year. I remember when MySpace was the Facebook of its heyday. I used it daily, updating my pictures, status and connecting with friends (some real, some I ‘knew’ through the online world who shared the same interest as me in music). Ok I admit, I wasn’t in a band (I can’t play an instrument to save my life-well maybe the triangle), can’t sing (unless you count in the shower), can’t rap and definitely won’t be the next member of a lip-syncing girl band but MySpace really was my all time cool network to communicate with other people. Everyone used it. Launched in 2003, I remember using MySpace at college, all my friends used it and we’d all sit huddled around our computers checking out our favourite band, singer etc and being part of the cool crowd for having an account. If you didn’t have one, what was wrong with you?
But that’s all changed. Zoom past a couple of years and in steps Facebook who rapidly become the biggest and best social network out there and MySpace becomes a distant memory. After having my MySpace account hacked by some pain in the ass person I ditched my account and joined Facebook back in 2008 and have loved it ever since. Poor old MySpace-out with the old and in with the new.
So the question is, what’s happened?
Talk has been circulating about parent company NewsCorp considering selling the struggling social networking site and recently rumours of a massive lay off of as much as 50% of their staff. Back in 2005 NewsCorp purchased MySpace for $850 million but are now considering selling the struggling network. A lot of people called it a smart move by a media company. Forbes said it “looks like the purchase of the century.” At the moment MySpace has 1,100 employees worldwide, with the majority working in the USA. Questions have flown around as to whether 2011 would be the make or break year for MySpace. How did Facebook replace MySpace? Facebook’s share of the market since its launch has seen Facebook Connect in 2008 with partners Digg and WordPress. MySpace launched a similar product called ‘Data Availability’ but failed to get the same support and interests from big partners. Dana Oshiro of ReadWriteWeb wrote “Facebook moved from being a college forum site to a full-scale lifestyle platform. Whereas MySpace is still a website, Facebook has become an entire eco-system.” I think MySpace is no longer the best because it’s too old and wasn’t prepared for the changes in this market. Trying to catch up with a network as young, strong and with a visible footprint on the social media world, it’s clear to see Facebook is way ahead in the competition.
In November saw MySpace take on a new design, which made the service seen more as an entertainment hub for the social network crowd. It’s their lack of product development, user experience and expansion to be up and coming, new and awesome and something that appeals to this changing market. Even though their new design shows a new side to the entertainment network, has the feel of too much going on, shotgun approach in comparison to Facebook’s clean tidy layout.
MySpace did try to boost its presence with MySpace TV that came out in 2007, that looked like a move to be in competition with YouTube and in late 2007 MySpace announced a self-serve ad platform at the same time as Facebook. The problem is MySpace is struggling to keep up with Facebook. If the axe does happen, the international offices of the social network will be hit the hardest. Employees across London & Sydney (55 people) and Berlin (20 people) will be hit the worst. Hopefully for MySpace users, they can put their foot down and show why this community should be kept alive. It would be a shame for the entertainment hub to be knocked off without a second glance. Although Facebook is huge, it can’t be the only networking site in the world that takes over everything.
What do you think?