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Business

MySpace: Going, Going, Going…?

At the end of the first quarter of last year, the news for Myspace spelled what seemed to be sure disaster.  The company came in a whopped $400,000 behind their estimated target in 2008 and couldn't seem to budge from the plateau of 75 million users, whereas competitors- namelyFacebook- grew exponentially.
Written by Dave Greenfield, Contributor

At the end of the first quarter of last year, the news for Myspace spelled what seemed to be sure disaster.  The company came in a whopped $400,000 behind their estimated target in 2008 and couldn't seem to budge from the plateau of 75 million users, whereas competitors- namelyFacebook- grew exponentially.  Then, in March 2009, as Facebook was receiving a great deal of positive attention for the site redesign, Myspace lost three of its top executives- Amit Kapur, Jim Benedetto, and Steve Pearman.  The outlook was grim.  Now, it is 2010, and with a year to recover, even the good news isn't great, but still the company is hanging in there.

Since 2007 the numbers of users has consistently fallen for the social networking site.  The growth of Facebook and Twitter, competitors to the struggling site, have grown tremendously over the past fifteen months, with Facebook seeing more than double the number of unique users in December 2009 as compared to one year earlier and Twitter snatching up an impressive 18.1 million users by the start of this year's first quarter.  And, as soon as Myspace executives made the announcement, in January, that they had the number one application for Android users, journalists and bloggers went to work to figure out how that could possibly be the case- determining that it was a misleading statement because there were fewer third-party apps for the site as opposed to its top competitor- Facebook, which often comes preloaded on the handsets anyway.  There are also reports of trouble in the ranks resulting in recent hire, Owen Van Natta stepping down from his position as CEO.

No, in a year's time the company has really not done enough to give much hope of a true revival and though they maintain nearly fifty million users, they have not been able to do what other social networking sites have done- drawn in the over thirty-somethings and the members of the business community.  So, what does the company need to do to save face in the coming years?  Perhaps, those fifty million loyal users would answer "nothing."   However, if they want to pull in the older crowds that are the newest wave of social networkers, then they need to create a system that requires less time.   Myspace pages- to be truly personalized- require too much user input- and not enough of the running feeds that made its biggest competitor the hit that it has become.

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