Myspace, the social media tool of just a few short years ago (News Corps thought it was worth £361 million in 2005) is trying to make a comeback.
But can it reclaim some market share?
Probably not to any notable extent against Facebook and Twitter, and it is not realistically aiming to usurp its social media successors with its new makeover.
Yet the site, which has 54 million users according to comScore, is looking to build-up numbers, gain more traction, especially in the music industry and with music fans in general, and most importantly regain some initiative and momentum.
Whether this latest revamp has any substantial results seems to be doubtful based on comments to be found on varied news channels and blogs.
Well, as thought the demise of Facebook or even a small drop in its popularity did not last. It now stands at 463 million worldwide users, up from 200 million at the start of 2009. What’s more visitors spend 261.6 minutes (per a month) compared to 178.3 minutes just a year ago.
At the same time Bebo looks as though it will be sold or shutdown by owners AOL who paid $850 million for the site in 2008.
Figures from marketing firm comScore show the dramatic shift – Bebo’s monthly users in the UK fell by 60% from February 2009 to February 2010 to 3.8 million, while Facebook’s grew 24% over the same period to 28.1 million. MySpace fell 50% to 3.5 million.
Eden Zoller an analyst at Ovum said: “The original motive to buy Bebo made sense at the time. In 2008 it was up and coming, growing well and had targeted and attractive demographic. Facebook wasn’t the huge animal it is today either.”
Friends Reunited suffered a similar fate to Bebo, being sold in 2009 at a fraction of the £125 million ITV paid for it in 2005.
It seems as though constant innovation and drive in social media platforms is key to their slippery hold on social networking domination. It makes communications all the more interesting – very little stands still.
Simply that Facebook, far from waning in popularity is still on an upward curve, with new sites being launched specifically for Germany, France, Spain and China. It could be just the start.
As madmusings points out Facebook has been dismissed as a fad, among the number of critics is Rupert Murdoch who said it was “more of a directory.” Well you would say that….especially if you had pulled off a master stroke, worthy of Monty Pansear’s batting (which is not good), of buying MySpace’s parent company for a “cool” £330 million. Better to have invested in Coke, the drink or even the coal derivative, seeing we are using that colourful imagery.
One thing is clear MySpace was in the international market with country specific sites long before Facebook. But who would you bet on to succeed in a couple of years?
Tom Cheesewright of IO Communications told me (I am going to be pulled up on this aren’t I?) that the Internet allows the best sites to succeed even if they are new entrants to the market.
The traditional marketing model is that the first in usually captures the biggest share, I think it is 30% or 40% if I remember all that education. Early followers grab a lot of the remainder and the rest , the crumbs.
As for the attention grabbing headline? It grabbed my attention, even if did not quite live up to its shock value.
My local adult education college is now offering courses in social media networking or more precisely how to customise your My Space page.
While it has seen a demand and you could say its marketing is proactive, has it missed the boat already?
As one client in IT put it (more or less) to me when I expressed my surprise at the course being offered, next to traditional lines in cooking and ceramics: “Shouldn’t it focus on Facebook, My Space is already on its way out.”
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