Is MySpace last year’s hot nightclub?

My old-media pal Scott Karp of Publishing 2.0 has a great post up about whether MySpace is peaking. There are some anecdotal reports that might lead one to believe that it is, including a recent story about how some teenagers see MySpace as “so last year.” This is just a single newspaper story (from Wichita, no less), but I still think both it and Scott are on to something — and then there’s a recent interview with some teenagers that Guy Kawasaki did, which adds some fuel to the fire as well. It was summarized at Flickr by Steve Jurvetson.

All these reports are anecdotal, obviously — as is the fact that neither my 16-year-old daughter nor my 13-year-old daughter use MySpace, and neither do any of their friends. They use Nexopia and MSN Spaces (which apparently has over 100 million users now) and and lots of other sites. Is MySpace huge? It certainly is, although as more than one person has mentioned, its page-view figures (which put the site ahead of eBay, and just about everyone else except for Yahoo) are almost certainly wildly inflated.

I would agree with Stowe that MySpace is like a nightclub that is super-hot right now — and that kind of thing almost never lasts, especially when some big company buys the hot nighclub and everyone starts writing about it. Speaking of the nightclub metaphor, I used it recently in a piece I wrote for The Globe and Mail about MySpace and the difficult of monetizing social networks.

5 thoughts on “Is MySpace last year’s hot nightclub?

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  3. Hi, Mathew. The day I heard MySpace had been purchased for more than $500 million, I was shocked. Not at the price tag – but at the fact that a major media firm would spend that amount of money on a site that could easily become “uncool” in very short order.

    We all know one thing about teenagers – they move on to newer things pretty quickly. Nightclubs and hangouts are quickly abandoned by the “in” crowd once the masses move in. It’s a certainty with very rare exceptions, so why would their online behaviour be any different?

    Abandonment of MySpace will only accelerate once commercialization becomes a greater priority. As such, Rupert Murdoch has a very tough choice:

    1] Don’t commercalize (= no $$$)
    2] Commercialize (= lose the source of commercialization)

    Either way, the future does not look good.

    Assuming that commercialization is not an issue, you then have to consider new entrants into the space from the likes of Yahoo, AOL and MSN. They’ll have spent far less than $550 million to create their own versions, while building in much greater functionality.


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