With MySpace having announced that they are to embark on a brand re-launch and site design overhaul, questions still remain as to how effective this will be at stemming the tide of users abandoning ship in favour more popular social networks, such as Facebook.
More to the point, the case could be presented that (until now) MySpace’s unwavering reliance on a content (music) hosting proposition, vs that of a content sharing proposition – adopted by Facebook – has already left them out at sea – and out of the hands of users, literally.
There is no doubt a need for a global strategic rethink is well overdue, as the following link, demonstrating just how long ago Facebook superseded MySpace in regards to site visitation, will attest (http://www.digitalbuzzblog.com/loosing-to-the-social-web-visualized/). This only being further compounded over the last 12 months where the site has experienced a 16% drop off in unique visitors (down from 77,318,489 in June 09 to 65,210,607 in June 2010) in past year. Meanwhile, Facebook continues to churn out impressive growth figures, recently announcing they’d just exceeded 500 million members up from 350 Million in December 2009.
However, with recent comments from Jon Miller, News Corp’s chief digital officer, highlighting that MySpace were “pregnant with product”, and that the realignment would be “positioning MySpace as a platform for musicians and their fans” in other words there would be an elevated focus on content (and content providers), one can’t help feel that MySpace are missing the point, and are failing to recognise that the elephant in the room has bolted.
As we finally experience the long awaited and greatly anticipated ‘year of mobile’, in particular social media on mobile, the early prognosis for the MySpace proposition transcending onto handsets looks very bleak – From Jan 09 to Jan 10 the MySpace mobile site experienced a -7% downturn in site visitation, comparing against Facebook which received a 112% increase, and Twitter which was even more impressive with a 347% increase (admittedly in an earlier product growth lifecycle).
So with Facebook band fan pages to contend with online, and now the likes of Spotify and Last FM to compete with for content ownership on handsets, can MySpace stay relevant, or is already starting to flat-line?