Is MySpace Looking Like A Lame Duck?
Recent statistics released by Internet monitoring and web analytics companies are painting a bleak picture of MySpace which was sold for US$580 million in 2005 to News Corporation, the parent company of Fox Broadcasting and other media enterprises.
The rise and rise of competitors, Facebook and Twitter, are making MySpace look like a lame duck. The site has dropped to No. 2 position, overtaken by Facebook whose 150 million active users in April last year overshadowed MySpace's 130 million users, according web data research firm comScore.
Last month, Facebook reached the milestone of 300 million users. MySpace, it seems, is looking at the receding back of Facebook as Mark Zuckerberg's brainchild gallops into the distance.
According to web monitoring firm Hitwise, MySpace had 66.8 percent of the market around this time, but that percentage continues to plunge with the MySpace management now attempting to arrest the decline with a makeover and focusing on being an entertainment portal.
Conversely, as reported by Hitwise, Facebook increased its share of all the visits to social-networking sites from 19 percent in September 2008 to 58.6 this year -- a more than 190 percent increase.
The October numbers released by web analytics company Compete.com show that MySpace's U.S. traffic has dropped from 55.6 million unique visitors in August this year to 50.2 million in September. That's about 20 percent of its U.S. traffic being shed off since June.
According to social media blog Mashable, the continuation of MySpace's downward trend could see it completely fade away in terms of relevancy as a social networking site.
The micro-blogging website Twitter is the next hot item on the Web. Twitter's share jumped from 0.15 percent to 1.84 percent, and the service now ranks as the fourth largest social network.
There's a lesson to be learnt from MySpace's ailment.
People have complained that MySpace pages take forever to load. The pages look tacky. The average user is 15 and animated gifs seem to be the rage on most pages which also send a lot of people running for the hills.
Overall, there's too much noise going on at MySpace, giving the impression that quality is not the norm in this neck of the woods. Eventually, it's now taking its toll on MySpace.
"MySpace is like the messy teenager's room whereas Facebook is where people will find their mum, cousins and friends hanging out. It's like a hub," says brand consultant Phil Edelin of Wolff Olins.
Detractors feel that the management did not do much to improve or maintain the site. MySpace didn't bother fixing problems faced by users until they realized it was hemorrhaging users who were packing up and moving to Facebook.
In the end, is it a case of too little, too late? - Markk