Eugene Cho

what happened to myspace?

myspace_logo

What in the world happened to MySpace?  Did Robert Murdoch make a bad investment when he purchased MySpace for 580 million dollars in 2005?  At one point, people were referring to MySpace as a potential Google killer.  Wow – how fast things change.

I never had a MySpace account but dabbled with Q Cafe’s MySpace account and wasn’t impressed.  But recents news [shared below] via the Guardian UK is not news to anyone, right?  MySpace – Web 2.0’s darling a few years ago is now less than half the size of it’s younger rival, Facebook, and now officically in decline.

So, here are my questions in an attempt to better understand the fast changing aspect of social media and post Web 2.0.

What happened to MySpace?  Will it be around 5 years from now?

We all know that businesses come and go; New trends come and go. But in light of our incredibly fast changing world especially via technology, new trends emerge fast and quick and just in that same manner, they can potentially go away pretty quickly.  Remember some of the Dot Com Darlings?

What’s the lesson here?

Not sure but makes me think we shouldn’t get too married to Facebook.  Everyone’s thinking of the next big thing.

Here’s the article:

The “Place for Friends” is starting to feel lonely. MySpace, the Rupert Murdoch-owned website once synonymous with social networking, is losing popularity and key staff in its biggest troubles since launching five years ago.

Latest figures show that Murdoch is being beaten in the fight for social networks. MySpace suffered a drop in visitor traffic last month and is now less than half the size of its younger rival, Facebook. Three executives recently quit the one-time darling of the internet and there is speculation its co-founders will follow.

MySpace’s loss of status as the cool place to be is an object lesson in the notoriously fickle internet, where today’s cultural icon is tomorrow’s passing fad. From humble origins in 2003, the site led the so-called “Web 2.0″ revolution in which users could create their own profile pages and share content with friends. Murdoch’s purchase of MySpace for $580m was seen as a masterstroke as membership continued to soar, with celebrities and politicians joining the craze.

But then came Facebook, founded by Harvard student Mark Zuckerberg, which soon snowballed with an older and apparently more affluent demographic to steal MySpace’s crown. Gradually newspaper coverage of social networks switched from references to “MySpace and Facebook” to “Facebook and MySpace”. The rise of Bebo also undermined MySpace’s dominance, while Twitter is among the latest novelties eating into users’ attention spans.

MySpace had 124 million monthly unique visitors last month, a decline of 2%, according to the marketing research company comScore. Facebook, by contrast, racked up 276 million unique visitors, an increase of 16.6%.

Michael Arrington, co-editor of the influential industry blog TechCrunch, posted: “What was a bad situation in November 2008 is starting to turn outright ugly – Facebook is now well over twice the size of MySpace … It was less than a year ago that MySpace and Facebook were the same size.”

There are clues behind the scenes that all is not well at Murdoch’s Fox Interactive Media, which runs the site.

Amit Kapur, MySpace’s chief operating officer, resigned after little more than a year in the post to set up a new company. He will be joined by Jim Benedetto and Steve Pearman, senior vice-presidents of engineering and product strategy.

The exodus comes amid speculation of further departures and rumours that MySpace’s co-founders, Chris DeWolfe and Tom Anderson, could also walk away in October after the end of their contracts, each worth $30m over two years.

MySpace is clinging on to a marginal lead over Facebook in America but trails badly in Europe. In Britain, Facebook overtook its competitor in September 2007, the comScore data shows.

Nick Thomas, an analyst at Forrester Research, said: “In the last 12 months Facebook has extended its dominance in every territory in Europe.” However, he added: “I’m not convinced that it’s terminal for MySpace. The battle isn’t over yet.”

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32 Responses

  1. gar says:

    I think myspace just got too big for its own good and never made any improvements…

    Funny enough that you should write this, because I really HATE the new Facebook. I actually use it less than I use to because the new layout is so irritating to read…

    • JIMMIE VADEN says:

      I some what agree with Maia,And I disagree totally with saying they never made imporovments and I think It`s Myspace`s downfall,….The new mail totally sucks it`s awfull.The new 2.0 profiles are horrible too. the 1.0 was the best, In fact I think if they would have left some things alone they would still be on top of there game. They say you can swith back to 1.0 but not for a certain period like a month then you can switch back it just wont let you switch back any time you want it to. My computer used to jump around myspace very fast now if I try to pull up someone with a 2.0 it locks my computer up. no problem looking at a 1.0,…Apps also just slow you down. i used to live on myspace now I just check my mail and go to something else. MOCOSPACE is a new way to connect with friends that is growing fast check it out, but becarful they havnt got a grip on the viruses quite yet but atleast they are trying!

    • Mandy says:

      I totally agree! Websites need to learn to leave well enough alone. They should consider their members’ opinions instead of simply trying to build and build and build just to get ahead of rival social networking sites.♥

  2. DK says:

    What happened?

    People got bored. Just like people will eventually get bored with Facebook and Twitter when the next fad will come upon us.

  3. This is a matter of coding. Myspace is not open sourced coded– meaning it doesnt allow others to contribute to the coding platform– it results in a slow moving, difficult to adapt platform that cant adjust to what trends are out there. Myspace is a centralized and top down organization

    Facebook is a totally different creature- made with open source code. People add code to it – you probably know them as Applications, and this ability make facebook much nimbler. It doesnt actually have to respond to ‘needs’ because the users [who have the needs] generally create new apps. Facebook is a decentralized and viral organization

    Thats the difference…its two different worlds.

    By the the way- The Church was designed to be a decentralized organization too. The Shema MOvement is hoping to catalyze some of that move back toward a healthy decentralization…peace.

  4. Erin says:

    It’s such a competitive world. They have a good product but can’t compete with the momentum of other mediums.

  5. Maia says:

    Too many adds, viruses, user issues. Faceboook just did it better… If someone else does it better we all might switch again…

  6. jas dye says:

    i’m with maia on this one. it’s not just that people are constantly looking for the newest fads. facebook is leaps and bounds better than myspace ever was structurally. if anybody’s going to kill it, it’s most likely going to be themselves (ie., not listening to users’ gripes about the last change – which is not winning people over weeks later).

  7. […] I WONDERED THIS, TOO: Eugene Cho: What happened to MySpace? […]

  8. Pooba~ says:

    being very computer challenged, i can almost work my way through myspace… but facebook -> just to much stuff and no logical way of doing thngs.

    ALTHOUGH,,, I think they expect you to have your REAL name there. Sure there is a way around that one… but I’m too DUM to know how to be face-successful…

    UGGGG… I can now officially hide my own Easter Eggs!

    HOPPY EASTER~

  9. sonja says:

    Real life story for you.

    My daughter (now 15) wanted a MySpace page a couple years ago because all her friends had one. I got one first to check the security, etc. Then let her get one and friended her so I could check in every now and again (keep her honest and all). That’s really all I ever used my MySpace page for because I found it quite ungainly, slow to load and and it was quite an overload visually.

    A few months later, I joined FaceBook and began enjoying that platform … this was way before the current snowball effect.

    About 9 months ago (right?) everyone started joining FaceBook and at some point I suggested to DD that she might like a FaceBook account. So she joined and so did a number of her friends. Now, almost all of her friends are on FaceBook and even she says she doesn’t like MySpace anymore. She’s figuring out how to dump her account because she never uses it. She’s always on FB. Her coaches are on FB, her friends, her cousins, aunts … it’s great – for the time being.

    Interesting how it’s played out in our house and watching the migration.

  10. James says:

    Here’s an analysis by Christian Lander, of “Stuff White People Like” fame:

    “For a brief period of time, MySpace was the site where everyone kept their profile and managed their friendships. But soon, the service began to attract fake profiles, the wrong kind of white people, and struggling musicians. In real world terms, these three developments would be equivalent to a check cashing store, a TGIFridays, and a housing project. All which strike fear in the hearts of white people.

    White people were nervous but had nowhere else to go. Then Facebook came along and offered advanced privacy settings, closed networks, and a clean interface. In respective real world terms, these features are analogous to an apartment or house with a security system/doorman, an alumni dinner, and a homeowners association that protects the aesthetics of the neighborhood. In spite of these advances, some white people still clung to their old MySpace accounts. That was until they learned that Facebook started, like so many things beloved by white people, at Harvard.

    Within a matter of months, MySpace had gone from a virtual utopia to Digital Detroit, where only minorities and indie bands remain.”

  11. anne says:

    @james
    oh wow. that is making me look at this totally differently…

    introspection time for the white folks.

  12. socrates says:

    Myspace became a haven for hackers, spammers, scammers and fake profiles. That’s what happened

  13. ron says:

    Myspace is going down because it used to be good for artists and music.
    These days there’s always something that doesn’t work.
    Bad programmers or whatever?
    NONE of the players on music profiles work properly and cutt music off,so for a start musicians and music lovers have started to go on less frequently.
    I think the decline is because of bad employees who cant run the site

  14. Robert Bell says:

    It is simple. Myspace turned from a social networking site into a blatent promotional site.

    When you log in, you have this default friend, “Tom” (one of the founders) that you CANNOT DELETE from your stream. “Tom” is always helpfully suggesting (promoting) new bands and products.

    In short, they SPAMMED their own social networking site. People don’t like SPAM. Not hard to figure out.

    The interface was geeky and hard to use. I found very little reason to go there, particularly since I could not shut up “TOM” and all his not-so-subtle marketing promotions disguised as postings.

    So I left. And everyone else did, too.

    I am guessing that NEWS CORP was behind the spamming of MySpace, in an effort to increase revenues. It backfired.

    • Jamice Woods says:

      I have never had any problems with myspace, up until now. I just recently made one in the very begining of 09. I never forgot my password or e-mail adress, but for some reason they could never find me when I search myself by e-mail, but my page is still up. I don’t understand. The last time I logged in was the 22nd of May of this year, 09 of course. I still don’t know what happened to it. I’m still trying to find out today. I really miss chating with my friends….If any one has or is having this same trouble, and knows what might be wrong with my myspace account, can you please contact me by e-mailing me. j_woods492@yahoo.com THANKS!

  15. Robert Bell says:

    BTW, I don’t think the decline of myspace is reversible. Once Facebook achieved a critical mass, it was the death sentance for MySpace.

    People invest a lot of time an energy setting up networks, profiles, uploading photos, etc., so they are not inclined to switch back to an older service merely because they fixed all the problems with it. You’d have to have a super-compelling reason to get people to go back.

    I think the social networking fad may also pass. If you have over 20 friends on facebook, the stream of data gets pretty dense. You stop caring about what so-and-so had for lunch last week pretty quickly.

    But facebook does have some useful features. You can upload photo albums and share them with non-facebook users (or non-friends) by sending them a link.

    Other services like Webshots used to do this well, but ruined it by adding obnoxious video ads that play automatically.

    So it may be anciallary and new features that allow Facebook to thrive and survive by adapting to change.

    Myspace, on the other hand, is utterly worthless, unless, apparently, you are in a grunge rock garage band.

    FWIW.

  16. Robert Bell says:

    BTW, I just logged in to MySpace for the first time in 6 months. They got rid of the “TOM” character who was your default “friend”. But I think it is too little too late.

    And talk about ads. Newscorp really killed the goose that laid the golden egg.

  17. Amanda Jo says:

    I had a Facebook account long before I had a myspace account. Facebook launched when I was in college and I was part of the first group of schools that got access. It has completely changed over the years and now even my computer illiterate mom has it (which is fine!)

    I got a myspace account in about 2006 because I had heard how cool it was. I was never a big fan because it seemed really sketchy. I always had these models (aka porn stars) that were half dressed trying to friend me. Since that time it has completely gone downhill. I logged in the other day for the first time in a year and noticed that none of my 400+ friends on there use it anymore … THEY ALL HAVE FACEBOOK :)

    As others have said, Facebook just did it better in a classier sort of way.

  18. FIg says:

    Hey, I don’t understand all that technical jargon about “loading times” and “platforms” and all that, but I think, from a user standpoint, Myspace is “funner” than Facebook. You can add codes that give your page a (sometimes) unique look and as far as the music players not functioning-all I can say is: does Facebook have a music player?
    I got a Facebook account because “all my friends were doing it” and I notice that all of our pages look the same (white background, blue headlines with black text) zzzzzzz…..
    I think there was a feeling that teeny-boppers (uhg!) were the myspace-crowd (along with online predators), and the over-30 “serious networkers, looking to further their careers and mature endeavors” were more for facebook. But of course the kids want to eat at the big table too, so they follow along.
    Facebook: no frills, no fun, all business.

  19. Vanessa says:

    Myspace is still the best platform for musicians and bands. It’s a free website with free traffic.

  20. Alexander Mo says:

    What good is MySpace for musicians and bands if no one really goes on it anymore?

    And yes, Facebook does have a music player. Each Musician Page is equipped with one. I’m glad they don’t allow it for everyone’s profiles. Who wants to hear your friend’s annoying music anyway?

  21. Yeah, what did happen to MySpace, everyone was on it and then they one by one started abandoning it and going to Facebook. But like one of the people on here said, they got bored with it and will eventually get bored with Facebook. We all have short attention spans and will only do something for so long before we need something else, just like relationships.

  22. stankinaz says:

    Myspace sucked. What happened to friendsters?

  23. monica says:

    facebook sucks its like all the old people went to facebook and all the kids stayed on mysapce…

  24. monica says:

    i still get on myspace alot…and alot of ppl i know still get on myspace…so ya

  25. Riven says:

    I created a Myspace account in 2005, relatively early. At first i did not like this “facebook” thing. I was 28 and thought Facebook was a boring place for old stuffy people and Myspace was where its at. But now my attitude has totally changed, i view Myspace as the teeny-bopper land cluttered with ads, garage bands and slutty “models” and attention seeking “celebrities”. Facebook is refreshing to me because yeah you cant change your profile, add music and do fancy things but what that means is…you have to INVEST your actual PERSON in your page, not just a persona. But as Facebook gets more and more popular i fear it’ll lose its simple and efficient soul..we’ll see.

  26. Alan Davis says:

    I think MySpace was ruined by all those backgrounds that people made – that made their pages completely unreadable.

    Flashing graphics. Pictures obscuring text. Makes many, many pages completely unusable.

    I actually much prefer MySpace to Facebook. It just feels like a waste ground now. Shame. :-(

  27. ally says:

    MySpace is like an overcrowded room of self promoting narcissists all talking about themselves at the same time and no one is listening to the other! Everyone screaming for attention in eachother’s comments and pretending to thank eachother for their support with generic “personal” sounding messages meant to get you to pay attention back to them. It is ultimately a failure because it foster attention seeking instead of attention giving.

    It is like some kind of Existential Hell full of narcissists starving for attention.

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