Just as empires throughout history and around the world have risen and fallen, to be replaced by new ones, so have social networking websites in recent years. Five or six years ago, MySpace was perhaps the biggest in the world, but it has declined greatly, and now Facebook has taken its place.
Myspace sold for $35 million
A past leader of the social media world, Myspace’s usership has been steadily in decline as other social media sites, such as Facebook, have developed. Specific Media CEO Tim Vanderhook said in a written statement to CNN that he plans to use Myspace to “drive the next generation of digital innovation.”
As Specific Media specializes in advertising, the company offered a revamped vision for the website as a space where advertisers can use the social network infrastructure to promote their campaigns.
“[We plan to use Myspace] to deploy socially activated advertising campaigns, enabling brands to turn their campaigns viral by allowing users to share their favorite ads with friends,” a representative from the company told CNN.
Pop icon Justin Timberlake has joined the Myspace team as part-owner and will supposedly play a major role in the company’s changes, reported the New York Times. Timberlake said in a statement that Myspace could still be a spot where “fans could go to interact with their favorite entertainers, listen to music, watch videos, share and discover cool stuff and just connect.”
When media mogul Rupert Murdoch’s company News Corp purchased Myspace in 2005, the website enjoyed 20 million new visitors each month from the United States, making it the fastest-growing social network at the time. But News Corp has been trying to get rid of Myspace since last winter.
Michael Nathanson, a media sector analyst for Nomura Securities told the New York Times that Myspace was not just holding News Corp back. “[Wall Street] just wanted [the sale] done, because it’s been a real drag on growth.”
The Myspace company has experienced significant cutbacks in employee numbers this year. In January 500 employees were laid off and another round of cuts is expected since the acquisition by Specific Media.
Most employees [former or current] will argue that it was poor management, or a need to hit revenue targets once News Corp. took over that set the course of MySpace’s downfall, said Lee Brenner, former director of MySpace’s Impact section and current publisher of HyperVocal.
Myspace currently has 35 million visitors per month, the New York Times reported.
It infuriates me that Rupert Murdoch, whose News Corp empire also includes FOX News, was ever allowed to take over MySpace. I’m glad to see that it was failing. The last few times I visited it, many of the things I liked about it, including its discussion groups, were gone and without them I had no more reason to bother with it. I wonder now if the executives and engineers who run MySpace were deliberately trying to destroy it so Murdoch would give it up later.
Note to owners of media outlets everywhere: Do not sell your properties to Rupert Murdoch or anyone else running News Corp, no matter how much money they offer you! That sort of selling out to a media and corporate tyrant just sickens me!
- News Corp. finally sells MySpace, but only for $35 million (geek.com)
- Charting MySpace: The End Of An Era (paidcontent.org)
- Doing the math on News Corp.’s disastrous MySpace years (arstechnica.com)
- Media Decoder: News Corp. Sells MySpace to Specific Media for $35 Million (mediadecoder.blogs.nytimes.com)