There has been plenty of talk about Myspace the past 4 years. Ever since the launch of the social portal GIANT, there has been conversations centered around Facebook applications being Myspace killers to the terrible design of the site’s personal pages.

I started out in the social media world through Myspace. I loved it when it was first launched. The customizable pages, the photo gallery, and the blog entry (I moved my xanga over to my Myspace page). I remember the friend trains and the thousands of people I didn’t know.

Fast Foward 2 years: Enter Facebook to Anderson University. Everything changed for me when Facebook hit the scene on my campus. The design was simple and quick. The UI of the site was not daunting or cumbersome. It was a hit in my book!

I have since slowly migrated away from Myspace for fear of being glitter blasted through the web space. This all to say, I was browsing through the magazine at the airport yesterday and the new FastCompany caught my eye. There on the cover stood Chris DeWolfe and Tom Anderson, the Myspace cofounders. The title read: Don’t Mess with Myspace: Tom Anderson and Chris DeWolfe Say Their Business Is More Innovative Than Apple, Google, and Facebook. Could They Be Right?

Needless to say two things happened: I tried not to laugh out loud for fear of being stared at and I was really intrigued. I bought it.

I am intrigued because I know that Myspace has an excellent business model beneath that terribly designed site.

Facebook has been owning Myspace in terms of user/member growth:

From FastCompany:

World wide visitors

Facebook: 123.9 million up 162% from May 2007

Myspace:  114.6 million up 5% from May 2007

Clearly Facebook has been owning Myspace on growth over the past years. The competition from Facebook has pushed the Myspace co-founders to go back to their roots: Music.

From FastCompany:

“Myspace Music is a new site that promises to let people listen to and share streaming songs from a full catalog of music for free, as MySpacers do now with video-but also create playlists and buy ringtones, merchandise, and concert tickets.”

Is Myspace going after the iTunes music share? They have made pacts with major labels in the music industry to offer their content without digital rights management.

It is interesting to see Myspace reinventing itself in the wake of the social media movement. Now dubbing themselves a social media portal instead of a social networking site, Myspace is trying to tell the world. “HEY! We are still here. ZUCKERBURG… You are going down.”

They have the business model that Facebook and other sites have not figured out. They may be a little cumbersome, ugly, and completely stupid to the tech-nerd world. Honestly… who cares.

From FastCompany:

“Murdoch mandated $1 billion revenue target in June, but the unspoken defense is that Myspace alone contributed the vast majority of the $900 million that did come in. That’s three times even the most optimistic estimates of Facebook’s perfomance.”

I may not use Myspace anymore but I say, “Go for it Tom. I would love to see a Battle Royal of social networks.” Zuckerberg vs. Anderson vs Steve Jobs.