MySpace lays off more than half of employees; brings in Justin Timberlake

Summary:The MySpace predictions this week were true. Just after MySpace was bought by Specific Media from News Corporation, the once-popular social networking site has commenced another round of layoffs.

The MySpace predictions this week were true. Just after MySpace was bought by Specific Media from News Corporation, the once-popular social networking site has commenced another round of layoffs.

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that MySpace gave pink slips to more than half of its base of 450 employees on Wednesday. Compare that to when MySpace employed 1,400 people as of two years ago, and its easy to picture just how steeply this company has fallen.

After trimming the workforce down, it appears this social network has brought in singer and actor Justin Timberlake. This time, Timberlake won't be playing a part but rather given a minor stake in the company. He will also be employed to revamp MySpace's direction and brand.

A popular spokesperson is an often-used gimmick, but there are plenty of skeptics who wonder what Timberlake could really do to save MySpace at this point. AllThingsD's Kara Swisher puts it plainly: "Maybe they should focus on making products the star first."

As for what that direction might look like, Specific Media CEO Tim Vanderhook told the WSJ that he wants MySpace to evolve into a "digital media company on par with Yahoo, AOL, Facebook and all the other big names out there."

Facebook? Yes, that would be a good model considering the site reportedly already retains 750 million members and could be valued at $100 billion.

Yahoo? Not quite. Yes, Yahoo is trying to establish itself as a digital media giant rather frame itself around the search engine it became known for, but it hasn't prove itself entirely quite yet.

AOL? No, just no.

[Via The Hollywood Reporter]

Related:

Topics: Social Enterprise

About

Rachel King is a staff writer for CBS Interactive based in San Francisco, covering business and enterprise technology for ZDNet, CNET and SmartPlanet. She has previously worked for The Business Insider, FastCompany.com, CNN's San Francisco bureau and the U.S. Department of State. Rachel has also written for MainStreet.com, Irish Americ... Full Bio

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