MySpace drop kicks 200,000 profiles: "As you can see, we've been looking into your files for some time, Mr. Anderson"
Looks like News Corp has brought in Mr. Smith to put the clamps on all those MySpace Neos...just as MySpace is repositioning itself as a more friendly AdvertisingSpace.
In a move designed to help calm teen safety fears and a building perception that the site may be possibly a future brand image threat to corporate owner News Corp., MySpace deleted 200,000 site profiles deemed "objectionable".
Up until now, MySpace has been relatively censor-free. If you've ever spent any time browsing through the sites, it's filled with a chaotic jumble of mish-mash. It's estimated there are more MySpace profiles than there are people living in Canada. To most users, its lack of limitations and lawlessness sensation has been thrilling, helping stoke the spirit of freedom and endless possibility. Some use it to create elaborate lies and pretend personalities, allowing them to "be" whatever they have in their imagination that is not in their real life.
If you are a pimply 14-year old kid still suffering from teen angst and social disconnect, MySpace can allow kids to try on their idealized "popular" aspirations. They can be rock stars, hip hop moguls, video game designers, anime/manga artists, movie stars. They can set up fan pages for any subject of interest and attract new "friends".
However, to some, these fake digital extensions of their inner me have crossed the lines of personal safety or even libel laws.
The truth is...once something is no longer "underground" and becomes so popular it is mainstream, lawlessness can not work if it is a social networking community. Especially if it is web's #2 most-visited website (as it was in February). Otherwise, it is not social and people will get hurt -- emotionally or even physically for those adventurous, curious hook-up seekers.
Censoring and screening out profiles due to new standards probably signals the beginning of the end of MySpace as we know it now. The reason why MySpace has grown so quickly and massively is BECAUSE of its lawlessness. Everyday, we are all expected to follow loads of rules. On MySpace, you only have your own rules. You have experimentation. You have digital freedom with some anonymity.
That freedom apparently has just be curtailed. Probably to the dislike of many.
The site, which allows users to create their own profiles with details of their interests that can be viewed and linked to by other MySpace.com “friends”, was acquired by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp last year for more than half a BILLION dollars and its phenomenal growth has placed it at the centre of the media company’s internet strategy.
In response to MySpace's success and the News Corp (Fox) acquisition, it has been reported that Viacom/MTV Networks wants its own social networking community and offered $750 million for Facebook.com...which was rejected for sale because that site's owners wanted $1.2 billion.
Lots of dollars being tossed around for these new enterprises. Social networking continues to be a major activity of internet usage and it will stay hot for many years. But will MySpace and Facebook still be important destinations 2 years from now or will some other site suddenly become the coolest on the planet?
My bet is on the later.
posted by Chris Kennedy @ Friday, March 31, 2006,
- At 10:54 AM, said...
by bet is on the later..?
- At 12:42 PM, fred krueger said...
My money is -- literaly -- on TagWorld to displace both of them.
- At 1:16 PM, said...
It's actually "latter" not "later". ;)
But in any case, I agree with the conclusion... if I owned Facebook, I'd grab that 750 Mill and get started on 'the next big idea' - after carousing with half naked women on a secluded beach somewhere for a week or two... lol
..because, as you say, they may become usurped by a competitor or otherwise crash out of the limelight at any time.
Now granted Facebook likely *is* a more lucrative community than MySpace, and therefore worth more bucks - simply because its members (iirc) have to have a University or College email address and be affiliated with a school to become a member. Therefore they are a very desirable demographic vs. pimply faced 14 year olds (and creepy old guys PRETENDING to be pimply faced 14 year olds), although teens - especially if they can be groomed towards become loyal to certain brands just as they're coming of age to own their first credit card - have great potential too. Especially when there's about 50 million of them.