It’s not all fun and games in social media today. The original social media platform, MySpace, is hemorrhaging up to 10,000,000 visitors per month at the moment and News Corp, who bought the site 5 years ago for $580,000,000 are currently looking for a buyer.
The site, which in many ways taught its supersedents how not to do social media dropped web traffic from 73,000,000 to 63,000,000 between January and February this year. In a report released by comScore it was found that the social entertainment site cum social media platform cum social entertainment site again was experiencing about half the traffic it was a year ago.
In many ways MySpace was a victim of both its own success and the highly controversial clauses it had in its terms and conditions. When Facebook came onto the market, at exactly the same time MySpace was sold to Murdoch’s News Corporation it had existed for a year or two without any serious competition. However, when Facebook arrived with its restrictive tagging, geographical residence and friending policies it began to lose out. When people began to actually read the terms that MySpace was imposing on its users they were dismayed. Photographers, writers and musicians who had been putting their work on their site realized that once it was uploaded it no longer belonged to them but News Corp to do with as they so chose. MySpace had few privacy issues as Facebook is currently facing in Europe as on MySpace you didn’t have any notion of privacy, that’s not what it was invented for. Originally created as a resource that musicians could use to cheaply and quickly put up their bands’ songs and videos in order to get exposure nobody particularly wanted privacy, it was only after the users themselves changed the way in which the platform was being used that the developers introduced automatic privacy for the under 16s to anyone older than that and optional privacy for those who wanted it.
Friend collectors were the bane of everybody’s life as well as robots which constantly tried to befriend you as did spammers and advertisers. Because the user experience became so poor and there was a simple, elegant if unusually restrictive for the time, alternative they began losing trade as everyone forgot about it.
In 2010 achieved 95,000,000 unique users in the first quarter when it began a raft of major relaunches. Over the past couple of years MySpace has really been struggling to compete with the other major industry killers like Facebook who currently have 30,000,000 users in the UK alone.
Six months ago Mike Jones, chief executive of MySpace said that the site had changed its remit from being a social media platform to being a social entertainment “destination”. Bad luck Mike, This week it was announced that social media is now more popular than entertainment websites such as iTunes and Sky Sports. MySpace just can’t catch a break these days. Jones also had to announce that the site was cutting both jobs and international operations earlier on this year.
Dan Cash is a social media commentator who's actually forgotten his MySpace log on details. Currently looking at inventory management and fixed asset software, he is looking forward very much to the weekend!