Myspace Accepts Ultimate Defeat: Bows Down to Facebook
Myspace, the former “in-demand” social networking site, continues to agonize over its defeat to the superior Facebook by instituting a rebranding campaign that allows the web platform to function primarily as a “social entertainment” resource. The general concept of the original Myspace basically served as the essential foundation for subsequent social media sites (like Facebook and Twitter); however, it also gave these upcoming platforms the opportunity to improve upon the existing, broken system established by the complicated Myspace format. Myspace, in a sense, caused its own demise.
To understand Myspace’s dramatic collapse, one must grasp the site’s initial, massive success that began in 2003—lasting until 2008, when the emergence of Facebook changed the face of social media as we know it. With approximately 110 million registered users in 2008, the $12 billion dollar-worthy website was the leading social networking destination that allowed active users to implement and control their personally designed profile pages, connect with friends, access entertainment multimedia, and more (Web Strategy). Even with Rupert Murdoch’s $580 million purchase in 2005, the business of Myspace experienced an immense downward spiral due to the inability to target the specific teen demographic that the site specifically aimed to adhere to. The “freedom” of building your own space—literally—resulted in a unique and demanding socializing tool; however, the complicated nature of the overall page creation and network navigation unintentionally backfired, driving people directly to the arms of the competition: the user-friendly Facebook. According to CNN, Myspace was sold again in 2011 for $35 million; “far less than the $580 million News Corp. paid for Myspace in 2005” (CNN Money). Instead of acting as its own social media outlet, Myspace now identifies itself as a “social entertainment” site, featuring music, movies, and television media, and additionally links to Facebook in order to generate greater interest on a perpetually failing networking device.
The following are basic assumptions of why Myspace might have failed over the years:
– Hit its “peak” way too early, furthering hindering its growth with changing technology (general lack of technological innovation as it moved forward in time).
– Targeted younger (teen) demographic; did not appeal to older age groups who prefer an uncomplicated layout.
– Failure to understand modern-day Internet users’ need/want for simple, straightforward setup:
o Layout and design was too complex of a layout with a busy appearance, involving coding for page design (HTML)
o Gave users too much control and customization over the actual design, but not all users are considered “designers;” difficult to grasp entire process lead to loss of overall interest
o Swarmed with advertising and unavoidable spam, even pornography (through friend requests and messaging especially)
o Forced users to search for information instead of making it available to them
o Devoid of monitored stream of updates in a singular location
o No uniform profile
– Username made it less personal, prohibiting networking opportunities; also making it difficult to search potential friends.
– Currently considered a “Social Entertainment Destination,” breaking away from the initial social media identity.
– The major emergence of Facebook caused Myspace to rapidly lose popularity as people showed preference towards the fresh-faced, easy-to-use social media platform. They made the choice to switch and Myspace subsequently fell apart.
Owyang, Jeremiah. “Social Network Stats: Facebook, MySpace, Reunion.” Web Strategy. 9 Jan. 2008. Web. 6 Nov. 2011 <http://www.web-
Segall, Laurie. “News Corp. sells Myspace to Specific Media.” CNN Money. 29 June 2011. Web. 3 Nov. 2011. <http://money.cnn.com/2011/06/29/technology/