Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Sale of MySpace Could Benefit Social Media in the Long Run


COMMENTARY | In a move that has been anticipated for months, News Corp. has officially put MySpace up for grabs to the highest bidder.

The asking price is rumored to be around the $100 million mark, which represents a sizable drop from the $580 million the company purchased the social network pioneer for back in 2005. A little company called Facebook has reduced traffic and use to MySpace, which means the company goes up for sale as a work in progress.

Over the past few years, 1,200 employees have been laid off from MySpace. Revenue for the company, which was $900 million in 2008, is expected to be $109 million. The particular situation being purchased does not exactly scream great investment. But a few firms will likely float a bid to purchase the company. The real challenge is making MySpace great again, if the site stays around at all.

Rumors of potential buyers include various capital firms, a Chinese Internet company, and even an original founder of MySpace. What remains unclear is exactly what any of the bidders would do with the company and the platform it provides.

Social media is all the rage in business right now. Thanks to the ability to communicate directly with consumers the social networks have offered a gold mine of advertising and customer service. However, with Facebook and Twitter already in full swing, is there room for another social media platform?

The ability to access Facebook and Twitter feeds from various mobile devices is a part of what makes them so popular, and any social website wishing to break into the market will need to have some foresight and an impressive development team to protect the company long-term. Really, who is to say what happened to MySpace could not happen to Facebook inside of five years?

While News Corp. gambled and lost on their investment in the social media landscape, another company with a fresh idea could further the leaps and bounds already seen in Twitter and Facebook. The future of social media is not necessarily at stake in the sale of MySpace, but competition is what drives innovation and improvement. A two horse race is more fun to watch than a horse just running laps, and it will likely be much more productive.

Jason Gallagher is a former travel professional and long-time Pennsylvania resident. These experiences give him a first-hand look at developing situations in the state and everything included in the travel industry from technology to trends.

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