MySpace to wage war on Facebook

Posted on May 31, 2009


The world of online marketing moves so fast that if you stand still, someone will pass you by. Failure to react to this could see you left far behind as your competitors build an unassailable lead over you. It has happened to many businesses over the years, big and small. It has also happened to some of the largest online businesses as well, such as MySpace.

MySpace used to be the place to go for community, interaction and entertainment for the young. It offered a voice for those who felt they weren’t being heard and a chance for people to interact in a way they couldn’t do in the real world.

Then came Facebook. Originally just for the elite, but then opened up for everyone, Facebook overtook MySpace like an Enzo Ferrari passing a Vauxhall Corsa. It had a crisp, clean design. It had widgets. It had a sublime photo gallery system (which has since put Flickr to the sword as well) and it was opened up to developers to create addons for the platform, meaning everyone could have a truly unique space of their own online (without the awful music and stylesheets that dogged MySpace).

Facebook was the new king, and MySpace was left reeling.

Not anymore though, as MySpace’s bosses at News Corp have announced changes are afoot, and changes that will see MySpace regain what it once owned.

News Corp’s Owen Van Natta spoke this last week about MySpace, yet strangely wouldn’t give any details about the proposed changes:

When I look at MySpace there’s just so much opportunity to build. I took the job because there’s a lot more that can be done around innovation.

So no details then eh? It might not be all hot air, as Owen Van Natta actually came from Facebook in the first place. Better the devil you know and all that?

Van Natta added that MySpace was big on personalisation:

I’m a big believer in personalization. Our job is to make MySpace really, really great for everybody, and that means that the experience has to be different for everybody.

Hmm… with Facebook currently boasting 200 million (mostly genuine) users and MySpace having 130 million (suspect) users, it has some way to go to catch up.

A big worry for MySpace is that a big part of their $900 million revenue is from a deal they have with Google, but that deal is due to expire on August 2010.

Will Google renew that, or look for pastures new?


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