Myspace is a social networking website offering an interactive, user-submitted network of friends, personal profiles, blogs, groups, photos, music, and videos. Myspace was the largest social networking site in the world, from 2004 to 2010. It is headquartered in Beverly Hills, California.
Myspace was acquired by News Corporation in July 2005 for $580 million, and in June 2006 surpassed Google as the most visited website in the United States. In April 2008, Myspace was overtaken by Facebook in the number of unique worldwide visitors, and was surpassed in the number of unique U.S. visitors in May 2009, though Myspace generated $800 million in revenue during the 2008 fiscal year. Since then, the number of Myspace users has declined steadily in spite of several redesigns. As of January 2018, Myspace was ranked 4,153 by total Web traffic, and 1,657 in the United States.
Myspace had a significant influence on pop culture and music and created a gaming platform that launched the successes of Zynga and RockYou, among others. Despite an overall decline, in 2015 Myspace still had 50.6 million unique monthly visitors and has a pool of nearly 1 billion active and inactive registered users.
In June 2009, Myspace employed approximately 1,600 employees. In June 2011, Specific Media Group and Justin Timberlake jointly purchased the company for approximately $35 million. On February 11, 2016 it was announced that Myspace and its parent company had been bought by Time Inc.
In August 2003, several eUniverse employees with Friendster accounts saw potential in its social networking features. The group decided to mimic the more popular features of the website. Within 10 days, the first version of Myspace was ready for launch, implemented using ColdFusion. A complete infrastructure of finance, human resources, technical expertise, bandwidth, and server capacity was available for the site. The project was overseen by Brad Greenspan (eUniverse's Founder, Chairman, CEO), who managed Chris DeWolfe (MySpace's starting CEO), Josh Berman, Tom Anderson (MySpace's starting president), and a team of programmers and resources provided by eUniverse.
The first Myspace users were eUniverse employees. The company held contests to see who could sign up the most users. eUniverse used its 20 million users and e-mail subscribers to breathe life into Myspace, and move it to the head of the pack of social networking websites. A key architect was tech expert Toan Nguyen who helped stabilize the Myspace platform when Brad Greenspan asked him to join the team. Co-founder and CTO Aber Whitcomb played an integral role in software architecture, utilizing the then superior development speed of ColdFusion over other dynamic database driven server-side languages of the time. Despite over ten times the number of developers, Friendster, which was developed in JavaServer Pages (jsp), could not keep up with the speed of development of Myspace and cfm.
The MySpace.com domain was originally owned by YourZ.com, Inc., intended until 2002 for use as an online data storage and sharing site. By 2004, it was transitioned from a file storage service to a social networking site. A friend, who also worked in the data storage business, reminded Chris DeWolfe that he had earlier bought the domain MySpace.com. DeWolfe suggested they charge a fee for the basic Myspace service. Brad Greenspan nixed the idea, believing that keeping Myspace free was necessary to make it a successful community.
Myspace quickly gained popularity among teenage and young adult social groups. In February 2005, DeWolfe held talks with Mark Zuckerberg over acquiring Facebook but DeWolfe rejected Zuckerberg's $75 million asking price.
Some employees of Myspace, including DeWolfe and Berman, were able to purchase equity in the property before MySpace and its parent company eUniverse (now renamed Intermix Media) was bought. In July 2005, in one of the company's first major Internet purchases, Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation (the parent company of Fox Broadcasting and other media enterprises) purchased Myspace for US$580 million. News Corporation had beat out Viacom by offering a higher price for the website, and the purchase was seen as a good investment at the time. Of the $580 million purchase price, approximately $327 million has been attributed to the value of Myspace according to the financial adviser fairness opinion. Within a year, Myspace had tripled in value from its purchase price. News Corporation saw the purchase as a way to capitalize on Internet advertising, and drive traffic to other News Corporation properties.
After losing the bidding war for Myspace, Viacom chairman Sumner Redstone stunned the entertainment industry in September 2006 when he fired Tom Freston from the position of CEO. Redstone believed that the failure to acquire MySpace contributed to the 20% drop in Viacom's stock price in 2006 up to the date of Freston's ouster. Freston's successor as CEO, Philippe Dauman, was quoted as saying "never, ever let another competitor beat us to the trophy". Redstone told interviewer Charlie Rose that losing MySpace had been "humiliating", adding, "MySpace was sitting there for the taking for $500 million" (Myspace was sold in 2012 by News Corp for $35 million.)
In January 2006, Fox announced plans to launch a UK version of Myspace in a bid to "tap into the UK music scene", which they did. They released a version in China and launched similar versions in other countries.
The 100 millionth account was created on August 9, 2006, in the Netherlands.
On November 1, 2007, Myspace and Bebo joined the Google-led OpenSocial alliance, which already included Friendster, Hi5, LinkedIn, Plaxo, Ning and Six Apart. OpenSocial was to promote a common set of standards for software developers to write programs for social networks. Facebook remained independent. Google had been unsuccessful in building its own social networking site Orkut in the U.S. market and was using the alliance to present a counterweight to Facebook.
By late 2007 and into 2008, Myspace was considered the leading social networking site, and consistently beat out main competitor Facebook in traffic. Initially, the emergence of Facebook did little to diminish Myspace's popularity; at the time, Facebook was targeted only at college students. At its peak, when News Corp attempted to merge it with Yahoo! in 2007, Myspace was valued at $12 billion.
On April 19, 2008, Facebook overtook Myspace in the Alexa rankings. Since then, Myspace has seen a continuing loss of membership. There are several suggested explanations for its decline, including the fact that it stuck to a "portal strategy" of building an audience around entertainment and music, whereas Facebook and Twitter continually added new features to improve the social-networking experience.
Marvin L. Gittelman suggested that the $900 million three-year advertisement deal with Google, while being a short-term cash windfall, was a handicap in the long run. That deal required Myspace to place even more ads on its already heavily advertised space, which made the site slow, more difficult to use, and less flexible. Myspace could not experiment with its own site without forfeiting revenue, while rival Facebook was rolling out a new clean site design. MySpace CEO Chris DeWolfe reported that he had to push back against Fox Interactive Media's sales team who monetized the site without regard to user experience.
While Facebook focused on creating a platform that allowed outside developers to build new applications, Myspace built everything in-house. Shawn Gold, Myspace's former head of marketing and content, said "Myspace went too wide and not deep enough in its product development. We went with a lot of products that were shallow and not the best products in the world". The products division had introduced many features (communication tools such as instant messaging, a classifieds program, a video player, a music player, a virtual karaoke machine, a self-serve advertising platform, profile-editing tools, security systems, privacy filters, and Myspace book lists, among others). However, the features were often buggy and slow as there was insufficient testing, measuring, and iterating.
Danah Boyd, a senior researcher at Microsoft Research, noted of social networking websites that Myspace and others were a very peculiar business—one in which companies might serially rise, fall, and disappear, as "Influential peers pull others in on the climb up—and signal to flee when it's time to get out". The volatility of social networks was exemplified in 2006 when Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal launched an investigation into children's exposure to pornography on Myspace; the resulting media frenzy and Myspace's inability to build an effective spam filter gave the site a reputation as a "vortex of perversion". Around that time, specialized social media companies such as Twitter formed and began targeting Myspace users, while Facebook rolled out communication tools which were seen as safe in comparison to Myspace. Boyd compared the shift of white, middle-class kids from the "seedy" Myspace to the "supposedly safer haven" of Facebook, to the "white flight" from American cities; the perception of Myspace eventually drove advertisers away as well. In addition, Myspace had particular problems with vandalism, phishing, malware and spam which it failed to curtail, making the site seem inhospitable.
These have been cited as factors why users, who as teenagers were Myspace's strongest audience in 2006 and 2016, had been migrating to Facebook. Facebook, which started strongly with the 18-to-24 group (mostly college students), has been much more successful than Myspace at attracting elderly men.
Chairman and CEO Rupert Murdoch was said to be frustrated that Myspace never met expectations, as a distribution outlet for Fox studio content, and missing the US$1 billion mark in total revenues. That resulted in DeWolfe and Anderson gradually losing their status within Murdoch's inner circle of executives, plus DeWolfe's mentor Peter Chernin, the President and COO of News Corp. who was based in Los Angeles, departed the company. Former AOL executive Jonathan Miller, who joined News Corp in charge of the digital media business, was in the job for three weeks when he shuffled Myspace's executive team in April 2009. Myspace President Tom Anderson stepped down while Chris DeWolfe was replaced as Myspace CEO by former Facebook COO Owen Van Natta. A News Corp. meeting in March 2009 over the direction of Myspace was reportedly the catalyst for that management shakeup, with the Google search deal about to expire, the departure of key personnel (Myspace's COO, SVP of engineering, and SVP of strategy) to form a startup. Furthermore, the opening of extravagant new offices around the world was questioned, as rival Facebook did not have similarly expensive expansion plans yet it still attracted international users at a rapid rate. The changes to Myspace's executive ranks was followed in June 2009 by a layoff of 37.5% of its workforce (including 30% of its U.S. employees), reducing employees from 1,600 to 1,000.
In 2009, around the time that Myspace underwent layoffs and a management shakeup, the site "relied on drastic redesigns as Hail Mary passes to get users back". However this may have backfired for Myspace, as it is noted that users generally disliked interface tweaks on rival Facebook (which avoided major site redesigns).
Myspace has attempted to redefine itself as a social entertainment website, with more of a focus on music, movies, celebrities, and TV, instead of a social networking website. Myspace also developed a linkup with Facebook that would allow musicians and bands to manage their Facebook profiles. CEO Mike Jones was quoted as saying that Myspace now is a "complementary offer" to Facebook Inc., which is "not a rival anymore".
In March 2011, market research figures released by comScore suggested that Myspace had lost 10 million users between January and February 2011, and that it had fallen from 95 million to 63 million unique users during the previous twelve months. Myspace registered its sharpest audience declines in the month of February 2011, as traffic fell 44% from a year earlier to 37.7 million unique U.S. visitors. Advertisers have been reported as unwilling to commit to long term deals with the site.
In late February 2011, News Corp officially put the site up for sale; it was estimated to be worth $50–200 million. Losses from last quarter of 2010 were $156 million, over double the previous year, which dragged down the otherwise strong results of parent News Corp. The deadline for bids, May 31, 2011, passed without any above the reserve price of $100 million being submitted It has been said that the rapid deterioration in Myspace's business during the most recent quarter deterred many potential suitors.
On June 29, 2011, Myspace announced to label partners and press via email that it had been acquired by Specific Media for an undisclosed sum, rumoured to be a figure as low as $35 million. CNN reported that Myspace sold for $35 million, and noted that it was "far less than the $580 million News Corp. paid for Myspace in 2005". Rupert Murdoch went on to call the Myspace purchase a "huge mistake". Time Magazine compared News Corporation's purchase of Myspace to Time Warner's purchase of AOL – a conglomerate trying to stay ahead of the competition. Many former executives have gone on to further success after departing Myspace.
In May 2016, the data for almost 360 million MySpace accounts was offered on the "Real Deal" dark market website. The leaked data included email addresses, usernames and weakly encrypted passwords (SHA1 hashes of the first 10 characters of the password converted to lowercase and stored without a cryptographic salt). The exact data breach date is unknown, but analysis of the data suggests it was exposed eight years before being made public, in approximately 2008.
Since YouTube's founding in 2005, Myspace users have had the ability to embed YouTube videos in their Myspace profiles. Realizing the competitive threat to the new Myspace Videos service, Myspace banned embedded YouTube videos from its user profiles. Myspace users widely protested the ban, prompting Myspace to lift the ban shortly thereafter.
There were a variety of environments in which users could access Myspace content on their mobile phone. American mobile phone provider Helio released a series of mobile phones in early 2006 that could utilize a service known as Myspace Mobile to access and edit one's profile and communicate with, and view the profiles of other members. Additionally, UIEvolution and Myspace developed a mobile version of Myspace for a wider range of carriers, including AT&T, Vodafone and Rogers Wireless.
Full service classifieds listing offered beginning in August 2006. It grew by 33 percent in one year since inception. Myspace Classifieds was launched right at the same time the site appeared on the internet.
Shortly after Myspace was sold to News Corporation in 2005, the website launched their own record label, MySpace Records, in an effort to discover unknown talent on Myspace Music. Artists can upload their songs, EPs, and full-length albums onto Myspace. As of 2017, over 53 million songs have been uploaded to Myspace by over 14 million different artists, with over 13,000 songs being added daily. Singers such as Lily Allen, Owl City, Hollywood Undead, Sean Kingston, Arctic Monkeys, Echobelly, Ice Nine Kills, and Drop Dead, Gorgeous gained fame through Myspace. Over eight million artists have been discovered by Myspace. In late 2007, the site launched The MySpace Transmissions, a series of live-in-studio recordings by well-known artists.
On March 10, 2010, Myspace added some new features, like a recommendation engine for new users which suggests games, music and videos based on their previous search habits. The security on Myspace was also accounted to, with the criticism of Facebook, to make it a safer site. The security of Myspace enables users to choose if the content could be viewed for Friends Only, 18 and older, or Everyone. The website will also release several mobile micro applications for Myspace gamers besides sending them games alerts. The site may release 20 to 30 micro apps and go mobile in 2011.
In October 2010, Myspace introduced a beta version of a new site design on a limited scale, with plans to switch all interested users to the new site in late November. Chief executive Mike Jones said the site is no longer competing with Facebook as a general social networking site. Instead, Myspace would be music-oriented and would target younger people. Jones believed most younger users would continue to use the site after the redesign, though older users might not. The goal of the redesign is to increase the number of Myspace users and how long they spend there. On October 26, BTIG analyst Richard Greenfield said, "Most investors have written off MySpace now", and he was unsure whether the changes would help the company recover.
In November 2010, Myspace changed its logo to coincide with the new site design. The word "my" appears in the Helvetica font, followed by a symbol representing a space. The logo change was announced on October 8, 2010 and appeared on the site on November 11, 2010. Also that month, MySpace integrated with Facebook Connect – calling it "Mash Up with Facebook" in an announcement widely seen as the final act of acknowledging Facebook's domination of the social networking industry.
In September 2012, a new redesign was announced (but no date given) making Myspace more visual and apparently optimized for tablets.
By April 2013 (presumably before), users were able to transfer over to the new Myspace redesign.
Since early 2006, Myspace has offered the option to access the service in different regional versions. The alternative regional versions present automated content according to locality (e.g., UK users see other UK users as "Cool New People", and UK-oriented events and adverts, etc.), offer local languages other than English, or accommodate the regional differences in spelling and conventions in the English-speaking world (e.g., United States: "favorites", mm/dd/yyyy; the rest of the world: "favourites", dd/mm/yyyy).
On February 5, 2008, Myspace set up a developer platform which allows developers to share their ideas and write their own Myspace applications. The opening was inaugurated with a workshop at the MySpace offices in San Francisco two weeks before the official launch. The MDP is based on the OpenSocial API which was presented by Google in November 2007 to support social networks to develop social and interacting widgets and can be seen as an answer to Facebook's developer platform. The first public beta of the Myspace Apps was released on March 5, 2008, with around 1,000 applications available.
At QCon London 2008, Myspace Chief Systems Architect Dan Farino indicated that Myspace was sending 100 gigabits of data per second out to the Internet, of which 10 gigabits was HTML content and the remainder was media such as videos and pictures. The server infrastructure consists of over 4,500 web servers (running Windows Server 2003, IIS 6.0, ASP.NET and .NET Framework 3.5), over 1,200 cache servers (running 64-bit Windows Server 2003), and over 500 database servers (running 64-bit Windows Server 2003 and SQL Server 2005) as well as a custom distributed file system which runs on Gentoo Linux.
Myspace operates solely on revenues generated by advertising as its revenue model possesses no user-paid features. Through its Web site and affiliated ad networks, Myspace collects data about its users and utilizes behavioral targeting to select the ads each visitor sees.
Companies such as Slide.com, RockYou, and YouTube were all launched on Myspace as widgets providing additional functionality to the site. Other sites created layouts to personalize the site and made hundreds of thousands of dollars for its owners most of whom were in their late teens and early twenties.
In November 2008, Myspace announced that user-uploaded content that infringed on copyrights held by MTV and its subsidiary networks would be redistributed with advertisements that would generate revenue for the companies.
On November 18, 2009, Imeem was acquired by Myspace Music for an undisclosed amount. After the acquisition was completed on December 8, 2009, it was confirmed that Myspace Music bought Imeem for less than $1 million in cash. Myspace has also stated that they will be transitioning Imeem's users, and migrating all their play lists over to Myspace Music. On January 15, 2010, Myspace began restoring Imeem playlists.
Along with its website redesign, Myspace also completely redesigned their mobile application. The redesigned app in the Apple App Store was released in early June 2013. The program features a tool for users to create and edit gif images and post them to their Myspace stream. The app also allows users to stream available "live streams" of concerts. New users are able to join Myspace from the app by signing in with Facebook or Twitter or by signing up with email.
|Location||Size||Available||Price||Version||Device requirement||Last update|
|App Store||15.6 MB||No||Free||3.6.2||iOS 6.1 or greater||February 8, 2014|
|Google Play||16 MB||No||Free||3.1.0||Android 4.1 or greater||April 17, 2015|
The app allows users to play Myspace radio channels from the device. Users can select from genre stations, featured stations, and user or artist stations. A user can build their own station by connecting and listening to songs on Myspace's desktop website. The user is given six skips per station.
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