It’s strange to say it but just a few years ago MySpace and Facebook were in hot competition for the top spot among social networking providers. MySpace was like a first generation example of online social interaction and it felt like it as well. When Facebook started to pull ahead in the numbers MySpace introduced some new changes, such as chatting, to make it more user and social friendly but all of its attempts seemed to be an attempt to look more like Facebook. In short order MySpace lost users and social network addicts found other sources. The recent news that MySpace was sold didn’t come as a shock to anyone but it’s unclear whether or not MySpace will limp along or if it will reinvent itself under new management and, once again, become a viable networking platform.
As other social networks found newer and more innovative ways to connect people to social networks, through improved computer and HTC 4G Android Phone technology, MySpace’s approach remained static. This was apparent as the tides for MySpace turned rapidly. Many stated that this was due to a lack of interest and funding through advertising. People just weren’t interested in it anymore. MySpace saw its figures drop drastically from 21.8 million visitors to Facebook’s 8.3 million viewers. By 2011 the numbers had drastically shifted and the figures show that Facebook’s monthly visitors had risen to an estimated 157 million to MySpace’s 34.9 million. These figures are estimated by comScore and only took into account the U.S. market.
News Corp has never openly published any specifics on MySpace and its various accounts but, after losses in its second quarter in the range of 156millon, the company announced that it was experiencing losses that were no longer sustainable. Though no official figures have been released or confirmed, sources say that News Corp, the previous owner of MySpace, sold the site for an estimated 35 million. This is a disparaging gap between, what the company paid for it back in 2005 at roughly 580 million.
One thing that is known about the sale is that MySpace was purchased by Specific Media, a company founded in ’99. The owners of Specific Media are hopeful that they can revive the brand and stated, “We look forward to combining our platforms to drive the next generation of digital innovation.” It’s hoped that, with a fresh and reinvented approach, headed by, non other than, Justin Timberlake, pop star and actor, who it’s said will play, “a major role in developing the creative direction and strategy for the company moving forward.” The company is likely to take a more music-centric approach to the site given that the majority of its remaining users were Indi-band oriented.
The market is still unclear as to what concentrated direction that MySpace will take next. Though it’s new owner hopes to reinvent its lagging popularity and stigma and revive a once viable media source, it remains to be seen if it’s even possible. Specific Media stated that they’re looking forward to the challenge and are hopeful about their ability to combine their current platforms with the purpose of driving the next generation of digital innovation.