Is MySpace a passing fad?

    by Mark Glaser
    February 23, 2006

    There’s one problem with being trendy: Trends only last so long. In the trendy world of social networking, Friendster has already come and gone, and MySpace is showing signs of jumping the shark. Both of these sites allow people to create their own personal sites, link to friends, upload photos and other media, and generally create a virtual home for themselves online for free. Sites such as Xanga and MySpace have become especially popular among teens. And MySpace says it has tens of millions of users, and was bought recently by News Corp. for $580 million. But now ABC News Radio is doing a series on MySpace, questioning its popularity and staying power.

    Do you think MySpace will last, or has it lost its street cred? What about social networking sites in general? Which ones do you like and use regularly? Use the comments below to share your thoughts, and I’ll quote the best ones in next week’s Your Take Roundup.

    • MySpace wont last. It’s horrible to look at, frustrating to use, owned by Rupert Murdoch, and 90% of it’s functionality is done better by other free services. The moment non-technical folks have an easy to set up blogging tool with social networking built in, it’s all over.

    • If MySpace dies it’s not necessarily because of the “cool” factor. The NBC series compares it to Friendster, and says that the death of Friendster was its mainstream appeal. Not so: it’s that the service wasn’t as fun or useful as it seemed at first sign-up. I had a Friendster account, and had a bunch of friends sign up too, but in the end the service wasn’t compelling enough to keep returning.

      If the service is good and keeps up with innovations appearing elsewhere on the Web, growth of the user base should remain steady. Look at Flickr. It’s become ubiquitous among bloggers, and there isn’t much sign of it dying despite the hype and attention it’s received. In the end it’s because it’s still the best photo community online right now. If someone else comes out with something better though, you can bet many Flickr users will jump ship.

      New users might join (or not) based on the “coolness” of a site, but longevity has more to do with how useful and easy the service is. I suspect many MySpace users will eventually hunger for more customization and autonomy and will set up new blogs, probably on their own domains. That’s been the pattern for Blogger. Blogger and MySpace are training wheels sites. Some people are happy to stick with it, but those bit by the blogging bug will probably graduate to something else.

    • I don’t think it is a passing fad. It’s hard for anyone over the age of about 25 to “get” Myspace. Being in my 30s — it’s hard for me to get it. But, the brilliant tie-in to the music scene has set them apart from the pack. I think as MySpace grows and evolves it is this type of activity that will be the foundation of it.

      The current incarnation of MySpace may not last more than a few years, but I think they are smart enough to evolve.

    • Barb Hewitt

      Yahoo’s Y-360 Web pages are much better and easier to use!

    • I think MySpace will effectively replace the mom and pop record shop. Indie music acts have few places to go thanks to the fye’s of the world. So MySpace provides a more cost effective alternative plus artists don’t have to share profits with the store.

      I think for this reason alone, it can find the means to evolve and stay in the game for a long time.

    • I hope and pray MySpace WON’T replace the mom and pop record shop. I have a MySpace account, am definitely over 30 and continue to find it one of the most frustrating, nonintuitive services I’ve ever seen. They let bands — like mine admittedly — post mp3s and have a player. That and the social networking they borrowed from friendster and others is their whole model. Try and invite friends to your gigs you’ve posted. I sure can’t figure out how to do it. Our local mom and pop indy record stores still have in-stores for local bands and the “kids” continue to come out to those.

    • When I’ve invited people to join my LinkedIn network, I have heard comments like, “Oh, yeah, that’s just like Friendster, isn’t it?” and I reply, “NoLinkedIn serves more of a function.” What I like about the site is my ability to post a sort of interactive resum, be more searchable via the work I’ve done or my side interests, and allow other people to search for connections (for work or potential hires) through my own volunteer project or paid work connections. LinkedIn is pretty impressive and, I hope, less of a passing fad.

    • zach

      i have made a myspace but never check it instead i go to a site called vampirefreaks.com and talk to people there. its like myspace but there is a chatroom and about 5,000 more people on there and about 20new people join everyday. so i think it is better. and its where i met my girlfriend kristin. so if i had to chose it would be vampirefreaks.com

    • I have a myspace account, but created it reluctantly under the urging of a high school friend. I will admit that it served its purpose, which was for me to get in touch with people I grew up with. Myspace is not my type of place because the free webservice they offer is really lame. All the personalized so-called “sites” look the same – like an 11-year-old Hello Kitty fan created them. It’s too immature for my style, which is why I prefer Blogger. I think Myspace is already gone.

    • have you ever NOT been in a myspace arguement?

      forwardslash ignore myspace

    • Samuel

      I believe that if MySpace can evolve as people want more and more out of it it has a more than good chance of staying. Many of people are on there. Pretty much everyone you ask has it, or will try it if you bring it up. All my friends are on there, and those who are not I’ve already introduced them into it. It should last quite a bit, people are on it all the time. I’ve been part of it since it started, even when it wasn’t popular. I’ll be around until something better starts up and everyone switches over. At that point it would be pointless to stay with MySpace.

    • Pam

      I hope myspace makes it and also has more functionality for business networking as well as the social aspect. Down sides are it does a crazy freeze up thing. I believe this is based on whose profile you were viewing and the amount of graphics. Some of the features are not functioning properly and sometimes you get error types of pages when trying to message ect. There is a lot of potential and I believe it should strongly push people to resister schools and companies so people can use it to search for people and still allow the people found to still have a strong limit on their personal information. For instance you can search for you can search for people by schools listed and age ranges. It could be like a free classmates. As far as business networking people can explorer prospective companies and be able to communicate as well in this area. I say a lot of untapped potential. If it is going to stay it must push for use beyond trend.

    • Annon Nomous

      I think myspace will eventually die out when people have the technology implanted into thier brains to send thier personal thoughts and information ,mental images and sound and feelings” through certian wavelengths.

    • Jaemi Kehoe

      I don’t think so. I think it’s going to be around for quite some time. It may continue to shift and evolve, but it has a tremendous number of users and gains new ones every day. It’s one of the largest sites I know of. It’s caused competitors like Friendster to become passing. I think MySpace is around to stay.

    • MG

      I don’t think myspace will die at all. As of today it has over 59M users. When I joined 2 months ago it only registered 43M. The problem with myspace right now is that porno is getting in, totally against their TOS. For example, yesterday I spotted a site with links to sex toys. That’s a no-no.

      When you mix sex toys, soft porn and 14-year olds, it’s a recipe for legal disaster. I don’t mind bikinis and such but porn is unacceptable when you have minors online. Sure, minors aren’t ALL innocent, but they are still legally minors. I think pornography can cause damage to MS. Other than that, I think MS is a great social networking site and it meets the social networking needs of millions of teens and young adults.

      There isn’t much on myspace for the 35+ crowd, or the married crowd. I also think that all the negative publicity about predators, etc. has only made the site more popular.

      Overall, I think myspace.com is cool and you just have to ignore some of the profiles from people who don’t understand the meaning of “page loading” and “bandwidth” and see their web pages as a self-expressive canvas to the world. Most users seem to be HTML challenged but that’s OK.

      I wish I could develop a site that gets nearly 8 million additional members in just a couple of months. If MS charged only $1 a month per user, they’d rake in $60M a month in revenues. But let’s not give them any ideas. Myspace.com has prompted the creation of dozens of
      unauthorized but helpful profile improvement providers
      such as http://yourspacegallery.com, http://myspacesupport.com and others to faciliate the use of HTML code, provide layouts and profile tweaks to millions of users. I think MS is here to evolve and stay or get bought out again for $900M or more.

      I am not sure if myspace users really click on all the annoying pop-up ads or advertisements or if the advertisers are really getting a return on their investment from the 14-18 year olds.

      This personal opinion has been valued at $.02

    • While the numbers may be greatly exaggerated, I don’t see MySpace dying off soon.

      They’ve done a great job adapting their product and with the launch of their video service (which looks an awful lot like an online MTV), they’ve still kept the hip factor going.

      That is, until someone thinks of a cool new way for young people to connect and date. Because that is what MySpace is at its core, a free internet dating service.

    • fabiola micha

      i think myspace is tight, ya’ll are just hatin. cause myspace is where i met my boyfriend and i’m stayin there. i mean myspace is most popular out of all of the sites, if it wasnt then it wouldnt be on the news and makin so much money. well all i gotta say is if they shut down myspace, they should shut down all the other sites, too. cause they are all mostly the same. later. im just sayin, let the haters hate, cuz u know myspace is great. ciao, kisses.

    • Yuk

      Myspace is a trend. Period. Currently it ranks as #8 in Alexa. Crazy. I am happy the founders got their payday. This time next year myspace will be replaced and 10 years from now there will be a VH1 show about it “blast from the past” and everyone will be like “wow, I remember that site – How lame.” It is not a useful service and better technology is in development.

    • marisa

      Well i think whoever says myspace it hard n whatever else u wanna say bad bout it is wrong. i have a myspace n love it, i end up finding friends i went to school wit that i thought i would never see again, how else can u find friends that u use to know years ago that now live over seas? myspace is how! it is prolly the easiest thing to use, if u can read then u can use it, n if u cant use myspace then u shouldnt even be on a computer. i love how u can do whatever u want on ur page, n putting pics up is the best part!

    • Bot

      MySpace will find a way to kill itself off.

    • i have a myspace it wont be a thing in the past i know 5th graders and 4th graders who are waiting to get a myspace when they get into the 6th grade. myspace is enjoyable and fun and i can say it will not be a thing in the past

    • Derrick

      Myspace may be fading, but a similar site called Vampirefreaks is just growing, its never gonna end. A 23 year old male from Medicine Hat, Alberta Canada met his 12 year old girlfriend on Vampirefreaks, and are both being charged for murder, According to the site founder, it does not condone death and violence, but a lot kids talk about that sorta stuff anyways. I once had a VF account but I deleted it recently, realizing all the kids on that site are a bunch of losers who need to get a life.

    • Katie

      My friends and I use Myspace.. we’re all 13 and fourteen. I myself think that Myspace is just a danger route, since it asks for so much information! Based on the abduction reports that Myspace has gotten, it isn’t looking to good on the news right now. I use Xanga since I’ve grown used to it’s html setup. I probably wouldn’t be using any of these weblogs if I hadn’t found joy in making “layouts”. My father and I always watch out for people that we don’t know lurking around the net. I have a lot of Xanga trackers that I put on my site to track peoples’ I.P addresses. It works very well. [:

    • Mo

      almost 100 million people and growing. i think its here to stay for a long time

    • I met my boyfriend on MySpace… Actually, he found me, added me as a friend, and started emailing me every day. I had no intention of ever meeting him, but we talked for 3 months and I realized he wasn’t going anywhere. He really wanted to get to know me! I agreed to meet him and we’ve been together going on 4 months now.. And still going strong. Even if things don’t work out between us in the end, this relationship wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for MySpace. If MySpace ever does fade away, I’ll never look back on it as JUST a “passing trend.” It brought me great happiness, and maybe lifelong happiness..

    • john hicks

      What is Myspace?

    • john hicks

      Repeat. What is Myspace?

    • john hicks

      Second Repeat. What is Myspace?

    • Dave

      the only thing keeping myspace alive is the music part. once facebook gets the music part down. myspace will die.

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