Is Facebook Scared of the New MySpace?
We like things simple. Facebook beat MySpace. Done.
However, the web is much more complicated than that. I liken it more to the trendy nightclub scene: the “hot” place to be can switch at the drop of a dime, stay legendary, or even reinvent itself.
Today, MySpace (News Corp. – NWSA) is reinventing itself in an effort to leapfrog over Facebook toward what may be an emerging trend of users choosing to spend more time connecting around common interests rather than traditional family or friend relations. Is Facebook scared? “Yes” and “No”.
Facebook is Scared Sh*tless
Lately, Facebook has had a lot of widely publicized issues — especially around privacy concerns and blunders. (See “86% of WSCS Readers Hate Facebook’s Use of Their Private Information“.) However, with half a billion users, the near term loss of a million or so people may not move the needle. Although, it sure seems like Facebook is noticing that competition in the aggregate can surely lead to problems.
If you are interested in keeping your private life private, there are not many (any?) alternatives to Facebook. The current decision is to basically unplug from a part of the social graph and wait for the white shining knight which is surely being outfitted in Silicon Valley as I type. However, if you are willing to abandon your lifelong friends and family, MySpace is now offering a slicker experience for those who are most interested in socializing around entertainment interests.
If you aren’t a voyeur and you don’t use Facebook to share your photos with close friends and family, you may find appeal in MySpace where you can stay connected to the heartbeat of new music, movies, TV shows, etc. And, you don’t have to reveal anywhere near the personal photos or information you would on Facebook.
What scares Facebook the most is the MySpace demo. If MySpace can successfully tune into how teens are using the web and social media, the next crop of Facebook prospects might not be so interested. Halloween is looking a lot scarier for Facebook than last year.
Facebook Doesn’t Even Notice
Are you serious? MySpace? That was so yesterday. That site is so noisy, so commercial, and so candy-coated, I can’t even believe we’re talking about it again.
Facebook is quickly moving to address user concerns and deliver users the best possible map to their social graph. Anything that MySpace does well, Facebook will look to do too (albeit in their own way).
The “New” MySpace is more of a PR gimmick and less of a substantial threat.
What do you think? Is the New MySpace a reinvented competitor to Facebook? Let us know in the comments below …