News Corp's. MySpace has turned to the primary cause of its nemesis Facebook, to draw sustenance or content from its rival to enrich its users' profile.
MySpace has launched a new service in conjunction with Facebook called Mashup. The feature allows MySpace users to import preferences from their Facebook profile to MySpace.
Mashup primarily focuses on entertainment based content and has an algorithm to assist in search and integration of entertainment content. The feature includes porting likes and dislikes to relevant MySpace pages and content specific real-time suggestions. It also syncs MySpace status updates with Facebook.
The Mashup feature is an umbilical cord that offers diminishing MySpace some nutrients to thrive - what you can't build you import.
MySpace was founded in 2003 by Tom Anderson and Chris DeWolf. The duo met while working for Xdrive in 1999. Later they started their own company Responsebase which was bought by Intermix Media. Initially the site was used by employees at Intermix and at its peak had more than 100 million users. The site was bought by News Corporation in 2005 for $580 million.
However, Facebook dethroned MySpace as the Lord of the social network space in April 2008 and things have just gone downhill for MySpace since then. Here are some avenues where Facebook scored over MySpace:
MySpace made certain tactical errors like the creators' failure to restrict the user's ability to customize their profiles. Their strategy was to let customers dictate what they wanted. Thus when they came across the loophole that allowed users to customize their pages, they decided to forgo writing a code to plug this patch as the users liked the flexibility.
However, this exposed MySpace to multiple security holes leading to spamming and hacking.
Also due to excessive customization MySpace was not able to deliver standardization of profiles that Facebook offers.
Another chink in MySpace armor is the advertising which clutters the page layout unlike Facebook where ads do not take the limelight from the page layout.
Recently released Facebook inspired movie The Social Network suggested that Facebook scored over MySpace and Friendster, as it created a halo effect by its association with Harvard and Ivy League Universities, thus making it exclusive, granting it the mileage it needed in its initial years.
Meet New Friends vs. Meet your friends
However, what differentiates Facebook from MySpace strategically is that it focused on privacy and control. It allowed users to select whom they wanted to give access to their profiles. This allowed users to create their own exclusivity and let them connect with people they know. Facebook transplanted existing friendships to the net.
This was in contrast to MySpace strategy which is rooted in assisting users to meet new friends. MySpace required users to provide information like age, gender and location which was freely available to any user. This was a sufficient feed of information for scammers. To fend off unnecessary advances users would misconstrue their personal information thus making the meet new friends strategy redundant. However, changes were made by MySpace but by then Facebook had gained mileage.
Finally MySpace has not been raking in moolahs. It recently announced $156 million in loss for the quarter ending Sept. 2010 compared to a loss of $126 million in the same quarter last year.
However, what still keeps users in MySpace could be the canvass it provides users to express themselves. MySpace is pretty popular among musicians who used the site to promote their music. Thus even the recent integration with Facebook leverages on its entertainment quotient. Mike Jones, CEO of MySpace, said: We are thrilled to further our collaboration with Facebook through Mashup with Facebook. This new feature is a great illustration of our strategy around social entertainment and enabling the real-time stream. The stream is one of our most popular features on MySpace, and it is now delivering an even richer entertainment experience of relevant content for our users to enjoy.
The current strategy to ignite the Facebook Connect button is to somehow retain the 130 million users it currently has. Its future is encapsulated in a statement issued by Jones with All Voices that said: MySpace is a not a social network anymore. It is now a social entertainment destination.