It never feels good to write about this kind of thing around the new year but if there is one thing about writing about business one learns that it can be heartless at times.
Myspace, the perpetually troubled former social networking high flyer, is reportedly looking into the possibility of laying off up to to 50% of its existing staff of 1,000 employees. Liz Gannes from the NetworkEffect at All Things Digital reports:
While the decision of what cuts to make to its employee base have not been made yet, nearly the entire Myspace staff was given the last week of December off from work to save money.
Sources stressed that management was still working out the details of more drastic cost-cutting measures that owner News Corp. has been wanting from Myspace, as its revenues and traffic growth have declined.
The layoffs are also part of a larger rethink about the future of the Beverly Hills, Calif.-based company, which has had many difficulties in recent years. That has included several upheavals in its leadership and a talent drain, as well as stagnant growth.
Myspace has continued to get smaller and smaller in the rearview mirror of the frontrunner in the social space, Facebook, and that trend doesn’t seem to be letting up. Couple this continued decline in Myspace overall with the rise of microblogging (Twitter), location based services (Foursquare) and daily deal monster (Groupon) that are grabbing headlines every day and Myspace looks more and more like social networking footnote.
I have never really given Myspace a fair shake personally. When it was hot I simply didn’t care about social media. Now that social media is all the rage and there is value coming out of it, what Myspace is offering around music is just not where I fit. As a result, I haven’t truly watched the social network deteriorate like many readers may have.
Along those lines, it would be interesting if anyone who uses Myspace in its present form would tell us in the comments as well as those who once were Myspace users but have moved on to other things.
Once again, while these layoffs are rumored by sources this is a very bad signal for anyone related to the company. Not the way to be starting a new year for sure.