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MySpace Flopping ... or Soaring?

Posted on 11.03.2006

A recent Washington Post article highlighted some Falls Church High School students claiming they are finished with MySpace.

"I think it's definitely going down - a lot of my friends have deleted their MySpaces and are more into Facebook now," said junior Jackie Birnbaum.

It's a sentiment shared by many of her classmates, including E.J. Kim. "I've grown out of it," Kim said. "I thought it was kind of pointless."

According to, these students' sentiments are being echoed in a big way throughout the Web. By looking at the charts below, it's clear that while MySpace is still a very popular site, their rankings have hit a major plateau, while Facebook's rankings are steadily climbing. The difference in ranking growth since April 2006 is staggering (see charts below).

If one thing in life is certain, besides death and taxes, it's that the teenage demographic is fast-moving and very fickle. What's "in" one week can be ancient history the next.

So what does this mean for News Corp., who spent $580 million last year to acquire MySpace? Or Google, who struck a $900 million deal to advertise with MySpace? Does this turn into a complete blunder, a nightmare of Stephen King-like proportions or does it point to a solid business plan? The teens and "hip" crowd may suddenly abandon MySpace but, for News Corp., Google and other advertisers, is that such a bad thing? Maybe they are the shopkeepers with the broom trying to shoo away those pesky, loitering teenagers.

A quick look at MySpace "Groups" lists such categories as Automotive, Business & Entrepreneurs, Cities & Neighborhoods, Companies/Co-workers, Computers & Internet, Entertainment, Family & Home, Government & Politics, Money & Investing and Professional Organizations. Among many others like them, those categories don't exactly scream "teenager." Of those categories above, there are 391,894 groups listed. And there will probably be many more by the time you read this, probably by the time I'm finished writing this. The MySpace populace is growing older ... so what? It could turn out to be the best thing that ever happened to the site - and to News Corp. and Google. As time can attest, these guys know what they're doing.

Could MySpace turn into the next, great networking site for businesses, politicians, professional societies and marketers? It's sure not hard to imagine. Just like a decade ago, when television commercials started curiously displaying websites rather than phone numbers, might we see an explosion of URLs hitting televisons, radios and new media ads?

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