Back in November we were happy to report that Myspace was back!
The site was to re-launch as a new ‘social entertainment destination’ and drop the ‘social network’ tag – a good move considering the already heavily saturated ‘social networking’ market.
To recap, MySpace was once the most popular social networking site in the world, then Facebook came along in 2004, took over the social networking scene and left Myspace all but dead.
So understandably expectations for the “New Myspace” were high and if the new site was as good as we were lead to believe then we were in for a treat.
But sadly Myspace’s big shift in direction does not seem to have reignited the level of user interest that was hoped for. Recent events also suggest that there’s big problems behind the scenes too…
Last week Myspace CEO Mike Jones revealed that it’s parent company News Corp is looking for a way to unload the failing social network, sorry, “social entertainment destination” and by the sounds of it they’re pretty desperate to do so. News Corp, which paid $560m (£358m) for Myspace in 2005, is planning a sale, a merger or a spin-off.
Myspace’s lowest point also came last week when the company laid off almost half of its workforce (approximately 500 people).
Following the lay-offs, an angry alleged staff member sent TechCrunch an email explaining his feelings of bitterness, anger and betrayal towards the company. The email concluded;
“Some will say this is life in a big company, but size has nothing to do with it. This is life in a failed company, in the hands of leadership lacking competence and ethics, and motivated primarily by personal gain. This is nothing short of negligence, unfortunately short of criminal – for which News Corp needs to be held responsible, and hold responsible the very executives they are rewarding for being in charge of this travesty.”
Back in November we said in regards to the new Myspace, we’d “wait and see”. Well we have waited, and what we have seen thus far has not been good.
It would be a shame to see what was once the hub of social networking disappear forever, but the reality is that it could happen.