Posted January 28, 2009 12:53 am by with 9 comments

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myspacelogoBy Danny Brown

In a move that won’t surprise as many people as it would have this time last year, Fox Interactive Media has announced it will be cutting its workforce by as many as 100 jobs. Fox is the parent company of social network site MySpace as well as Photobucket and various mobile sites.

The move, which accounts for 5% of employees across the board, is another sign that MySpace and Photobucket are falling increasingly behind in the social networking battle. With Facebook and Flickr taking away much of the core audience of Fox Interactive’s babies, the signs aren’t good for Tom Anderson and his friends.

But is it such a surprise?

Despite MySpace’s redesign last year to offer a better advertising platform as well as a more open network for users to access multiple social accounts, they’ve been falling behind Facebook for a while. While there’s no denying MySpace’s popularity in the US, outside of the States it’s Facebook that’s enjoyed a wider uptake.

Recent figures from comScore show Facebook receiving almost twice as many unique visitors as MySpace worldwide. Why the difference?

MySpace seems to be suffering from the “too much of a closed niche” syndrome. Right or wrong, the network is viewed as a place solely for bands to promote their music. Facebook is more of a “social” social network with more personalization available. With the likes of iLike and available, there’s even less reason to be on a music-dedicated site (or at least that’s the view).

Add the growing presence of Twitter and MySpace seems to be the social network that nobody is really talking about anymore.

It’s not all bad news. According to a MySpace spokeseperson, they are still looking to take on new staff over the remainder of the year. And NewsCorp, the parent company of Fox Interactive Media, isn’t exactly a slouch in the monetary department.

The question is, with monetization of social networks still a thorny issue and advertising spending down, how much money will NewsCorp be willing to throw at MySpace, and for how long?

Danny Brown is the owner of Press Release PR, a boutique agency specializing in social media and PR convergence. He is a blog partner of the iEntry and WebProNews business network and the founder of the 12for12k Challenge.

  • Its not surprising that myspace is having to cut staff. New innovative social networking communities are taking over. Like you have mentioned – just look at twitter, its catching on like wildfire due to its simple ‘micro blogging’ style. Myspace is going to either come up with something new, or its competitors are going to steal its main people.

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  • Jason

    I am one of the many people who have transitioned from MySpace to Facebook over the last few months. Facebook hasn’t made any visible changes in this time and I absolutely loved MySpace’s new look. What drove me away is MySpace Apps. I play the games but I can’t keep track of all of my real friends while having to weed through the spam. I think MySpace missed just slightly with this move and it has hurt them immensely.

  • Dean

    We love MySpace!

    14 year olds, bands you never heard of, and child predators.

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  • It is sad to see MySpace getting lost in the shuffle. They need to come up with some new innovations, and right now…we’re all looking for less, not more.
    Slimming down and focusing on our core “favorites” for friends and business…and they’re missing the boat.

  • I thought google owned myspace?

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  • MySpace is not as flexible as facebook. Not much difference between boths traffic rank though. Facebook being 5 and MySpace being 7

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  • Myspace is a great social network, and I am sure they will be around for a long time