Wednesday, June 17, 2009

My Space Lays Off 30% of Staff

The future of media is the internet and the future of communication is social networking. My Space, once the darling of this world, is facing hard economic times and laying off 420 people, "as part of an aggressive restructuring that seeks to make the company smaller and more agile. " What has happened in the three years that Fox and Murdoch picked up this business? How is My Space faltering while Facebook seems to be picking up speed? Perhaps part of the problem might rest with ownership. Facebook remains young, aggressive, standalone while My Space was purchased by an old media company trying to augment its media distribution strategy. Change has been occurring quickly in social networking and Facebook has more successfully adapted while My Space lost its stride.

I have both a My Space and Facebook account but have found myself ignoring My Space and concentrating on Facebook. I liked Facebook's uniformity and structure; I found it easier to navigate. My Space, with all its "skins" and busy graphics became more disjointed and less interesting to use. Mostly, I liked how Facebook aggregated the content of my Friends onto one page as I was more interested in reading what they were doing then what I was posting. What does My Space look like today; I haven't been on in a long time so I can't tell you. They lost me and obviously others, too.

"The perceived missteps are numerous. Some observers say it clung too long to a 'portal strategy,' in which it sought to amass an audience around entertainment content. By contrast, Facebook maintained its focus on features that enhance the social-networking experience, such as the "News Feed" that matches the immediacy of Twitter's staccato updates." How will My Space win back its users; that is what their smaller group will be hard pressed to do. Perhaps Murdoch needs to buy Twitter and incorporate those users back into My Space. And obviously come up with something more innovative and unique that will be exclusive to the My Space experience. Otherwise, this might be the beginning of the end for My Space.

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