On the heels of MySpace’s most current bout of layoffs, there’s been some speculation on whether or not the formerly mainstream social network is on its way out, and if it is, whether it will be “better off dying a quick death now than prolonging its painful slide into irrelevance,” as stated in an article I recently found online.
The author offered some frank advice to the evidently failing site’s owner, News Corp., suggesting that the cost of shutting down altogether may be greater than just selling out at a “bargain-basement price.”
It’s true that MySpace is still home to millions of users, which makes it unlikely that it will abruptly close its doors, and there are also the plans for an extensive redesign to consider. The redesign will be made with the intention of transforming it into a pop-culture media-sharing site, which may, if handled well, end up saving the site after all, but the article argues that MySpace may have “missed that boat.”
Whether or not MySpace will see its end in the next few months, it had a good run and an impressive beginning. Until the appearance of Facebook, MySpace was the hotspot of social networking and media sharing. Many pop artists, including Kate Nash and Lily Allen, got their starts on MySpace and continue to connect with fans through the site. And although Facebook hasn’t made any discernable efforts at this point to become a similar tool for that niche brand of users, it seems that the opportunity for MySpace to claim it has come and gone. It flirted too long with the idea of being both a connection tool and musician’s exhibition venue, and missed its chance.
The article suggests the only viable recovery plan may not be a recovery plan at all, but a complete re-branding strategy complete with a new name and new site, and that News Corp. and MySpace may not be the ones to do it, simply because it’s name is just too well known, as well as the legacy that went along with it.
It could be time for another site to fill the space the MySpace might have filled if it had changed course in time. As recommended in the article, News Corp. can make the first example of a community site of MySpace’s caliber closing by “finding a clean and user-friendly way to wind things down, giving members the option to export content and assisting with job transitions for employees.”
Whatever the future of MySpace, it’s still worth noting its beginning, especially for startups that want to fill the gap that MySpace will leave with its departure.