MySpace's Last Gasp?
MySpace's parent, News Corp.'s Fox Interactive Media has announced that they will purchase Photobucket, Inc. This follows Fox's purchase of Flektor Inc., which provides tools for creating slideshows, video mash-ups and various other interactive presentations. Is this is a move by MySpace to become more agile and compete with the smaller, smarter communities out there? Maybe so, considering their dynamic competitor Facebook has recently opened it doors to the developer community. As a privately owned system, Facebook has the luxury of experimenting without risking alienating shareholders or losing big on an investment. It makes them sleeker and more open to change. Perhaps the $580 million MySpace price tag requires a bit more caution. So, Fox opened their wallet instead.
Look at it this way: The Facebook crowd started with the college-aged demographic - a niche generally more tech-savvy than the teens that make up a large part of the MySpace crowd. So, Facebook can feel comfortable allowing developers to take part in shaping the site as they see fit. And isn't that what Web 2.0 is all about?
MySpace didn't have the tech crowd to begin with. Shaping the site is left to MySpace developers and whatever they see fit. So, they purchased Photobucket and Flektor instead. While not exactly a developer's dream, this should make the tailoring of MySpace pages much easier and eliminate some of the problems associated with customizing profile pages. MySpace is obviously feeling the heat of a clunky system and wisely made a move.