Just as Google is ramping up its efforts to gain traction in social media, News Corp is getting out of the business, almost.

NewsCorp has sold social media site MySpace for $35 million to online advertising company Specific Media. News Corp, headed by Ruport Murdoch with holdings in properties including Fox, Dow Jones and the Wall Street Journal, paid $580 million for Myspace six years ago.

The deal, announced Wednesday, calls for News Corp to maintain a minority stake in MySpace, one of the original social media sites that quickly lost its footing to Facebook about the time Murdoch purchased the site.

There are many synergies between our companies as we are both focused on enhancing digital media experiences by fueling connections wtih relevance and interest, said Tim Vanderhook, chief executive of Specific Media in a statement.

MySpace is expected to layoff half of the company's workforce, number about 500.

Google began field testing its new social media product Google+ this week in a direct attack on the popular Facebook, which has an estimated 600 to 700 million users.