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8,290,000 Reasons Why MySpace is Finished

Posted on 9.04.2007

8,2900,000 - that's the number of pages Google returns when searching for "MySpace hacks." The gig is up. It's not safe to trust your brand with MySpace.

Today, one of my MySpace friends started sending me an absurd amount of lewd and pornographic bulletin posts - 15 of them in the span of 90 minutes ... and counting. And these posts were delivered to each and every one of his network of friends. Of course, he's not actually sending these, his account was hacked. Now he's frantically alerting everyone in his network, apologizing, changing his password and running a damage control campaign.

Whether your fault or not, something like this reflects poorly on your brand and could alienate potential and existing business partners. That's why other sites like Facebook and LinkedIn are surging while MySpace sits idly by, their method of damage control taking the form of a post from "Tom" apologizing for recent hacks and promising to resolve the problem. Well, thanks Tom, but it's too little, too late.

And while everyone predicts social networking as the next big advertising medium, corporations have been reluctant to jump fully on board. And this is why. Companies simply cannot feel confident that their advertising message is safe.

Here's another number: 29,000. That's how many registered sex offenders had profiles on MySpace in July of this year. Now, it's true that number is a fraction of the more than 180 million registered MySpace accounts, but the point is that advertisers don't want to even risk the possibility that their brand is associated with registered sex offenders, porn pushers, drug enthusiasts (Toking Times is an official group on MySpace with more than 25,000 members), and countless other groups that advertisers consider unsavory. Without advertising revenue, without a truly marketable set of users, MySpace becomes a curiosity, an indulgence - not a viable business strategy.

Social networks with purpose are springing up everywhere. They are smaller, dedicated and attract users who are there for actual business purposes. Boring? Maybe. Marketable? Absolutely.

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