3
Sep

Myspace.com is a pioneer in the social networking website space, but we are seeing it slowly move out of this space especially with the huge competition from Facebook in the past 2 – 3years. 

 

myspace1

I was wondering how could a website which had a market share of over 80% in US just lose traffic, there has to be some basic learning which we should take out of the Taylor curve( Not exactly taylor yet) of this social networking site to understand this transition of the website.

 Before:

myspace2

Now:

myspace3 

 The strategy adopted by most of the social networking sites have been like Mark Zuckerberg says– “Growth is primary, revenue is secondary” The model has been working for facebook from a growth point of view where Facebook is doing great but its high time that they start looking into the revenue bit, its really unbelievable that a company with over 200 million customers is not generating profits.  But in the case of  Myspace the issue has not only been from a revenue point of view but also from growth point of view especially considering the fact that they have not been able to leverage the first mover advantage in this space.

Problems Myspace had/has

  • User Design – There is a very nice post on the problems with Myspace design http://carsonified.com/blog/features/design/the-myspace-problem/
  • Lack of stickiness factor
  • Unable to crack any new models for advertisers unlike FB which keeps innovating( though not all work) but the fact that the company is doing things to keep the community engaged in its portal has been the key
  • Architecture of FB applications has been a killer and myspace was a slow mover in terms of releasing API’s for external websites to connect up. FB connect is now more far reaching in that aspect
  • Differentiating itself in the social network era

What are they doing?

  • Myspace Music – Its one of the most wanted properties in Myspace now, especially because of the tie-ups with some good records
  • Entry into Music is a great opportunity for Myspace to tap into a Niche of Social Music Community, which can be a potential growth multiplier

Now what about Monetising? Here is an interesting snippet on Myspace  :

myspace4

Numbers also show it clearly that the key is to crack the monetization for these networks. Innovative Ad models always seem to be the way ahead, but a transaction  i.e. social commerce led model will definitely be something to look out for.

So, How do you think they will be get out of the crisis or have they already cracked a way to get out? Is Music going to lead it? Or something else?

Thanks to our brilliant Indian student, Rahul Nambiar, for his reflections on this issue. Yours?

Best

Manuel A. Alonso Coto

Comments

Borislav Kiprin September 6, 2009 - 12:17 pm

Why am I on social networks?

There are few reasons for an individual to have a MySpace or any other social network profile:
• Because my friends are there
• Because everybody is there
• Social Exhibitionism
• Multiple format sharing – text, video, pictures, links, events etc…
• Topical following – favorite brand, favorite band, favorite cause …. etc.
• 45% of the future employers in the US do check my profile on FB or Myspace. Chances are in other parts of the world they also do that.

As we see in the graph shown by Rahul, MySpace has lost his lead in numbers of users. But let us put the question the other way around – from a consumer point of view? Why am I on FB or MySpace, or on both actually?

The example of Music pages in MySpace is the key here. Artists are trying to bypass the agents and music companies through building a direct relationship – artist and fans without an intermediary. So the social network has already built up its name for the longtail of music and a point of access for both the artist and the consumer without the intervention of someone that tells you was is good to hear or not.

Now, let’s take this a bit further with other sorts of art – writing, photography, sculpture etc… What if artists start publishing their portfolios? Wouldn’t that differentiate MySpace from Facebook pretty clearly? In my mind MySpace will reinvent and establish itself as a platform to where artists and user will be exchanging views, interests and content…

Do you think this will be a way to for MySpace?

Leonardo Bittan September 10, 2009 - 2:18 am

Great information provided in this post by Rahul. It is not secret nor rocket science that MySpace must do something. As mentioned by Borislav, there is an opportunity in the art field. If MySpace can become the mecca of art in its digital expression we could say a battle would be won, however, a question comes to my mind: would that be enough to compete with Facebook? It seems the first thing MySpace needs to determine for once and for all is if they still want to keep fighting for that top spot. As some reports show, online users just can’t keep up with many social networks, even less when the benefits offered by these sites are pretty much the same. Ask teenagers why they don’t se Twitter as much as Facebook (at least as of now) and one of the most popular answers besides ‘its lame’, is ‘i can update my status at yearbook or Facebook, why do it on twitter too?’ I am not implying Facebook will remain king forever, nor that Google will reign for the next 25 years, but what I am saying is that whatever MySpace or any other social networks offers in order to appeal masses and to dominate the subject industry must be relevant and innovative enough to cause a shift and preference. Unless, you want to choose another way, create a different culture and conquer a new arena. Ask Twitter and Flickr about that…. MySpace, listen to Borislav and Rahul – go for music and art!

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