MySpace — so popular no one goes there

by Mathew on October 29, 2006 · 28 comments

Is MySpace losing its edge? A piece in the Washington Post entitled “In Teens’ Web World, MySpace is So Last Year” seems to suggest that it is. Teens say the social networking site is old news, and they are moving on to other things. Ironically, some of them seem to be moving to Facebook now that the formerly restricted site has opened itself up — something that critics said might lead to a loss of users (for what it’s worth, my 17-year-old daughter and all her friends have signed up with Facebook, and so have I).

uncool

This question of whether MySpace might fade in popularity has been going around for some time now. My friend Scott Karp wrote about it back in May, and coincidentally enough I wrote about it back then too, including a column in the Globe and Mail in which I compared social networks for teens to nightclubs, in the sense that there’s always a new one coming along (Cynthia Brumfield chooses a different metaphor that is just as apt: the TV show). Here’s what I wrote then, which is now behind a pay wall:

In the end, [Friendster] may simply have been a victim of the shifting enthusiasms of its young audience, who grew up and moved on. In many ways, social networking sites are like hot nightclubs — they become popular and then flame out as the hip crowd moves on, and they are very difficult to manufacture.

My friend Rob Hyndman has also written about MySpace and the social networking phenomenon, and wonders whether it isn’t time to question the received wisdom about how smart Rupert Murdoch’s acquisition of MySpace was. Maybe MySpace just isn’t cool because so many mainstream media outlets and unhip dads like myself are writing about it, or because it’s so popular. As Yogi Berra said about one of his favourite restaurants: “It’s so crowded no one goes there any more.”

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  • http://www.howardlindzon.com howard lindzon

    They got their money out though. Problem is they may have messed this up for everybody.

  • http://joeduck.wordpress.com Joseph Hunkins

    This trend also may support the case that online branding is almost an oxymoron, and we’ll see success and failure from innovation or the lack of it rather than keen marketing. Wouldn’t that be nice?

  • Mathew Ingram

    That would be nice, Joe. I wouldn’t hold my breath though :-)

  • Logan Frederick

    Rupert Murdoch’s brightness can’t really be questioned here; he made his profit from the Google deal, and that’s all that was required to make the acquisition a success.

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  • Mathew Ingram

    I suppose you’re right, Logan, except for the fact that Rupert hasn’t really made anything at all yet. The deal with Google was contingent on MySpace hitting various performance criteria.

  • http://www.saynotocrack.com/ Say No to Crack

    Wow, maybe this is why I got so many bizarre friend requests when I signed up for MySpace! The results were so funny I had to post them to my humor blog Say No to Crack tonight. I guess I should be moving to where all the cool kids go ;)

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  • http://dondodge.typepad.com/the_next_big_thing/2006/02/interview_with_.html Don Dodge

    Mathew, I love your Yogi Berra quote applied to MySpace…”its so popular no one goes there anymore.” That is the problem with making huge long term investments in fad businesses…they may not stay popular long enough to earn back your investment.

    Google paid $1.65B for YouTube…which will require generating $150M in profits every year FOREVER just to break even. That translates into about $500M in annula revenues to generate the required $150M in profits. Forever is a very long time.

    Don Dodge

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  • http://blogcritics.org Eric Berlin

    I think there’s a distinction between what’s hip and hot and what’s massively popular. MySpace is the #6 most popular website on the Internet, according to Alexa.

    That said, I think there’s absolutely a hunger for something newer and hipper and less gorged by the corporate beast, and there are dozens of start-ups falling all over themeselves trying to meet that need.

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  • http://gameburn.org Jaydon

    Anyone else having bother with myspace or is it just my pc?
    Last couple of days it seems it wont let me download any song from anywhere.
    Anyone having same bother – or anyone how to sort it?

  • Donequa

    Myspace si so boring i don’t even go on any more i go on facebook or my e-mail to see if i have any comment ao friend request whenever i go on myspace i change my background
    MYSPACE IS SO BORING I DON’T KNWO EHY PEOPLE LOVE IT I LIKE A LITTLE

  • Lysandra

    MYSPACE IS WACK GET OVER IT

  • Lysandra

    MYSPACE IS WACK GET OVER IT”)”)”)

  • http://cinnaminta.com wikkid_weazle

    Bored with MySpace? Get active with Cinnaminta.
    http://www.cinnaminta.com/en/boredwithmyspace.htm

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