Ahh… welcome back to the Myspace and Facebook debate. I love talking about the business models of social networks across the Internet.
I was reading a post from Edmund Lee at theBigMoney called Why Facebook Can’t Succeed (via alisa at socialized) and I found myself agreeing with Edmund on some of the community versus business aspects of his post. I have always been under the assumption that we were approaching another net explosion (circa 1999) because of the value of companies being placed on growth instead of revenue. It seems ridiculous to me and completely backward.
It is easy for the social media nerds of the world to bash the social networks (Myspace) that tend to be a little more “whoring” of their advertising. The truth of the matter is that users of Myspace tend to spend more time on the site compared to Facebook.
“According to comScore Media Metrix, MySpace users spend an average of 234 minutes on the site each month, as opposed to Facebook’s 169 minute per user average. Furthermore, MySpace has a bigger cut of the U.S. audience, the most lucrative, at 75 million unique visitors for January, outpacing Facebook’s 57 million.” (Edmund Lee via comScore)
I might not be using Myspace as an individual but we cannot ignore the fact that they focus more on profitability than user growth. There is something to say about Myspace still appealing to users and the overall revenue growth of the company. Facebook may have a faster growth trend than Myspace but Myspace is the smarter social network of the two. The users are still hitting the site and using the tool…that is what matters to the growth of business in social media.
We are all still waiting for the brains of Facebook to present a viable revenue model for the site (Lexicon?) but until that time… I would invest in Myspace over Facebook.. any day of the week.
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you know, it’s weird, we just worked on a My Space page for a client yesterday. This guy has 80k followers, 14.9 million downloads and it clearly appears that his audience is teenage girls.
But when I poll my students at Franklin College every semester on whether they use My Space or Facebook NO-ONE is on My Space. These are 18 year old kids that don’t use the site at all! They are totally on Facebook.
So you aren’t using it, I’m not using it, 18 year Franklin kids aren’t using it but my client has 80k friends and almost 15 million listens!
I almost wonder if My Space is like the finance industry in a way, they have to keep up the facade of value so they are creating users and activity, etc. I just don’t get it. I don’t know anyone, besides bands, that uses My Space, but the numbers say otherwise.
The only thing I see MySpace doing well in is music, bands still have to have a presence there. Mostly since they can’t afford websites and it’s easier to get found. But otherwise it seems overrun with fake accounts, porn and prostitutes.
Also, My Space still sucks programming wise, the code is a complete mess. They might be making more money but I really doubt that it last. I think it’s the web’s version of the Titanic, about to hit and iceberg and go down. We’ll see.
Am I jumping to the wrong conclusions by assuming that the longer on-site time from MySpace is a function of the music content alone? A song will have to you there for 3 minutes doing nothing other than listening. Facebook users don’t have the same reason to just sit there.
Also, what draws Edmund Lee to conclude that the US audience is “the most lucrative”? Apple iTunes users in Europe pay more for online music than the US counterparts, and the US is not the biggest market — as far as potential goes, India and China has to offer much more promise, to name just two.
The problem with myspace: No API. If they don’t add one, end of story. But the myspace/facebook war is moot. In the long term Facebook and Myspace will be all but dead and an open source social network like OpenSocial will win. Individuals, businesses, bands, etc. will all be able to plug into that free, open, and decentralized database, but don’t think for a second that anyone’s going to pay for it. Money will go to the services provided and built on top of that database.
Bring on the generic social networks!
I think Ning has the brightest future especially as they jump more on the OpenSocial bandwagon. That being said I don’t think OpenSocial is there yet, it just doesn’t cross over to the everyday user, yet. It doesn’t make sense like Facebook. People like a destination. OpenSocial makes everything a destination. That requires a different mind set. The general public isn’t there yet. Many of them are still grappling with email, really, so I see OpenSocial as the somewhat distant future in terms of widespread user adoption. It just needs to find the right way to be as “real” as Facebook is.
MySpace is a cow that will be milked until dry and then put away. Facebook is where I would put my money. But I think Ning has the best chance of swimming in the future web oceans. It’s all about a meaningful conversation and Ning’s niche approach caters to that.
@Jeb with Facebook Lexicon coming out.. I would agree with you on THAT is where I would put my money.. for sure.
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