What MySpace does right and wrong

MySpace as a social phenomenon has ambitiously tapped into a rich vein in the teen market, but security concerns continue to linger.
Written by ZDNET Editors, Contributor
MySpace as a social phenomenon has ambitiously tapped into a rich vein in the teen market, but as a business leaves a few things to be desired, reports Macworld. MySpace has over 73 million registered users worldwide and ranks second only to Yahoo Inc. in page views, according to a MySpace spokesman. With internet real estate like that, one would think that they would do everything they can to maintain and profit from their teen audience. But some business analysts criticize MySpace is not doing everything it can to maintain it’s lead in the social networking realm.

The immediate threat to MySpace’s survival is one of security. Several incidences have been reported where underage teens have met predators on MySpace.

“The biggest threat right now to MySpace isn’t competitors. It’s the predators. I don’t think MySpace fully realizes how big a threat this is to its very existence.”says analyst Rob Enderle from Enderle Group

Although MySpace has drawn a lot of heat for not doing enough to protect teens, they have implemented more protections. MySpace has appointed its first-ever chief security officer and it working with law enforcement. It also scans every single one of the about 2 million images users host with it every day, scratching those that violate its policies, which include no nudity.

“MySpace operates a comprehensive series of safety guidelines and solutions, which we believe represent the best practices in our industry,” the company said in an e-mail statement.

But MySpace clearly does some thing right. They were the first social networking site to integrate services, such as blogging, multimedia content streaming, photo sharing and communication tools like e-mail and instant messaging. The teen and young adult market was just waiting for a platform to promote their own music, chat and express themselves. The question is whether MySpace will be able to grow as their customer base gets larger and their needs change.

“I’m a big fan. I don’t think they’re a flash in the pan. But it’s going to be challenging,” Card says.
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