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Peter Krasilovsky’s post this morning got me thinking about MySpace’s future. It makes a lot of sense that the company would come out with an ad product to rival Facebook’s Pages and Ads programs. It has already made a few moves in this direction.

Overall, the once dominant social network is scrambling, given new competition from Facebook. I’ve noticed through the diminishing frequency of visits to my MySpace profile, that the interface has begun to improve — perhaps starting right around the time MySpace realized the new competitive threat. Previously, MySpace was so dominant, almost monopolistic, that it got away with a famously subpar interface.

Today when I logged on to my MySpace profile to seek further evidence of this, I saw a new feature (maybe not brand new — again my visits have declined given limited time and the gravitational pull of Facebook). This can be seen as MySpace’s answer to Facebook’s News Feed. More accurately, it’s a direct clone — almost as transparent as Verizon’s new iPhone clone.



To be fair, MySpace still has a leading market share according to comScore, albeit much slower growth than Facebook (see chart below). But it needs to get creative to curb the herd mentality at the heart of social networking that is sending lots of users to Facebook.

True, you can have accounts in both places, but I maintain that there is a finite amount of time each user has for social networking. Session lengths — a key metric in social networking — will be affected by this zero-sum game.


Among the many things MySpace has to develop in the face of a rapidly growing competitive threat, the SMB effort will be interesting to watch. We’ll keep our ears to the ground.

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. A pause to critique….

    Do you remember when you thought Pong or Super Mario was the coolest thing? How about the first phone with a browser? Remember when everyone wanted Windows 95?

    And all these things have retained their intrinsic value, right? Thought not. I think the same thing will happen within 3-5 years with MySpace and Facebook.

    See, Facebook and all other social networks (yes, that’s intentionally broad) are just repositories for fake users and crappy apps, and I think their utility is highly limited as stand-alone platforms.

    Occasionally, it’s really cool to connect with an old friend — as I recently did with my friend Wilson. But how much of the connection was a driver to get me back onto Facebook, and how much quickly moved into e-mail and phone? Why the heck did I need Facebook to make this connection?

    Now if I could use social networking features in any number of computing instances — ie. if Google rolled social features into the GMail interface, or MS Outlook did the same, or if I could use social features to collaborate within Google docs or MS Office — then the features would be nice value ads. And I wouldn’t use them to throw drinks or pinch my boss (much less vampire-kiss him).

    And finally — pounding my own drum for a moment — I’ll note that on, you get real connection information — which is often what I want (and hopefully, I can soon get a private way to connect with Wilson thru e-mail or IM or whatever method he wants on

    Ned Hayes /

  2. Good comments Ned. This also gets back to the important distinction between destination vs. function. Social networking and social tools should be looked at as an important feature – not necessarily the sustainable centerpiece of one online destination.

    The value of myspace is its massive user base and traffic levels but those can disappear as quickly as they came. Social tools should be looked at as a value added feature of all online experiences of the future, not the standalone focus of a few. More on that here:

    (scroll down to bottom section)

    thanks again.

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