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Vox on.........Death of Myspace

Empires rise and fall. It’s a well-sewn pattern on time. The mighty come to power, then get complacent and stand still, before realising the shag carpet’s been ripped out from beneath them.

Rupert Murdoch bought MySpace for $580 million in 2005. The move represented two things: a new territory for an information-Rome to conquer, and big business' arrival on the social media frontier. As the saying goes, Italy's capital wasn't built in a day, but it burned in one. The website first seen riding high atop the global web 2.0 wave is now haemorrhaging members less than a decade after its seeds were sown. Historically speaking, it's not surprising. Times flies, especially when you're re-Tweeting.

Anyone who has recently read the news will know what the result is. 47 per cent job losses at MySpace, with its parent company News Corp putting it up for sale. What happened to the hub that offered the world a new-ish means of keeping in touch en masse, albeit rather cumbersomely, while providing a place for musicians and producers to showcase their work to management and the media?

Some explanation can be found by returning to the concise (read spurious) ‘empirical model' from the opening of this argument. In short, everything else got sharper, while the once youthful leader of the online communication shake up became something of a grandfather. Facebook began to offer a more complex, faster interface with which to talk bullshit through, and SoundCloud an infinitely more reliable music tool.

Growth in interest of Facebook against Myspace

So where from here then? Downsized or not, reports from last year put members who have stayed loyal, or at least not bothered to cancel their accounts at 113million, suggesting life in the old dog. And plenty of people with rent, mortgage and lifestyle-based music dependencies will have to continue using it. Whether that's a band, journalist or talent scout. But it's not looking good in terms of 10-year projections. MySpace chief executive Mike Jones was quoted in Britain's newspaper The Guardian as saying the streamlining of staff would lead to ‘sustained growth and profitability', with the company being rebuilt ‘with an entrepreneurial culture and an emphasis on technical innovation'. It could mean several things, but one clear message is there's no way this particular internationally recognised domain name will become available again anytime soon.

The big question is can the damage impacted by rivals, namely Facebook, be reversed, or at least limited? Well, had you asked if banks would go bankrupt ten years ago, ‘no' is the response you may have received from the average person on the street. Obviously then, nobody really knows what's going to happen, least of all us.

Myspace versus Facebook traffic 2009 and 2010

Realistically, MySpace could have done well cutting its losses once it conceded pole position. The amount of people already signed up with an interest in music, professional or otherwise, made the potential for the framework to be turned into a specialised, functionally designed tool blatant. Yet too much deliberation took place, and things moved on. Now, with its core market- promoters and artists- gradually considering alternatives, and the general public becoming disinterested, it may take more than the recent all-but-face lift to get things properly re-tuned.

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