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MySpace's Slow, Painful Death Continues

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The biggest news in social networking is, of course, the mind-blowing $50 billion valuation of Facebook. In the words of some Italian guy, “now-that’s-alotta-zeros!”

But Facebook’s latest epic win only serves to underscore Myspace’s latest epic fail. The Wall Street Journal reported today that News Corp, which owns Myspace, is preparing to sack between a third and a half of Myspace’s employees. That’s on top of a 30% layoff last summer. In the words of another Italian guy, “now-that’s-alotta-unemployed-social-networking-programmers-and-other-staffers!”

Clearly, whatever calculus Rupert Murdoch used to decide that buying what was then, and still is, a sinking ship, somehow hasn’t added up. Users and advertisers continue to ditch the site, with unique visitors in November down 15% from a year ago, and ad spending down 37% last year.

And the news keeps getting worse.

“In the quarter ended Sept. 30, the News Corp. unit that includes Myspace reported an operating loss of $156 million, primarily due to the site's poor performance,” the Journal reports. “News Corp. said search and advertising revenues at Myspace declined $70 million in the quarter compared to the same period a year earlier.”

Ouch. Well, at least News Corp seems to have a plan to turn the sinking ship around.

And that plan?

One word: boxes.

Yes. Boxes.

It’s admittedly been a few months years since I’ve logged into Myspace, so forgive me if I’m slow on the uptake…but WHAT THE HELL IS WITH ALL THESE BOXES?


It’s like the whole site has turned into Hollywood Squares on acid. There’s so much going on that I have absolutely no idea where to look. There’s Macaulay Culkin in the upper left, Eminem somewhere in the lower middle, some guy named Gorilla Zoe in the upper right. In fact, it really is like Hollywood Squares on acid!

All of which is to say: even with its staff slimming and page redesign, Myspace just can’t be long for this world.

POSITION:  No positions in stocks mentioned.
TAGS:  MYSPACE, NEWS CORP    SOURCE:   Wall Street Journal