MySpace ready to open up?!

According to TechCrunch it looks as if MySpace are looking to follow Facebook down the route of an open platform for developers.

I can’t say I’m particularly surprised (given the success Facebook’s experienced) but I wonder if this is perhaps too little too late. At the moment MySpace still beats Facebook in the stats and they do have a greater critical mass but in the last few months many of it’s users have switched their allegiance to Facebook and with the networks growing every day I wonder how ready they’ll be to switch back.

For me Facebook offers so much more than MySpace. Aside from the obvious developer tools it has the stickiness that MySpace doesn’t. I can find out what my friends are up to alongside details of my colleagues and peers. Through Facebook I can find out about events I may be interested in, have discussions (in a relatively closed environment) about those events and strengthen my professional networks. Would I be as comfortable doing this on MySpace? I think not.

I think Facebook has a greater appeal for all ages. It has something for everyone. As a Web Developer many of the MySpace profiles make me cringe whereas I know what I’m getting with Facebook – it’s more about the information and the interaction than the layout.

It’s all down to individual preferences at the end of the day but I don’t think MySpace’s announcement will make much difference to Facebooks popularity and my money will still be on Facebook overtaking MySpace as the number one social networking in the not too distant future.

4 thoughts on “MySpace ready to open up?!

  1. There were interesting figures on TechCrunch or GigaOm a little while ago that showed it would take quite some time at current growth rates for Facebook to overtake MySpace. What statistics don’t show so clearly is how much users are using the different services and I suspect Facebook is currently more engaging than MySpace.

    MySpace has the disadvantage that it is battling something it can’t change – the ageing process! MySpace loses to Facebook as users move to college and university because people want a more mature environment.

    Their strategy so far seems to have been always appeal to the youth market, and in some ways it makes perfect sense – every year there’s a new batch coming through – but ultimately it’s doomed. By the time these people are 18 or 21 or 25, will they want to associate themselves with the same youth culture? I cringe when I think what I was like 10/15 years ago!

    Facebook on the other hand has been able to push its user base higher than university students as they graduate into the real world and is biting on the heels of the likes of LinkedIn for the work market.

    I think MySpace will have to do a lot to persuade developers that it’s changed its attitude. Its posturing before the Photobucket buyout was frankly disgraceful and developers aren’t going to invest in the platform if they think MySpace will pull the plug once they get successful.

    Full disclosure: my hatred of MySpace is well known and I am completely biased against it 🙂

  2. Yes but….

    Facebook’s not got quite the same appeal for promoting your band, or friend collecting, or for so-called ‘artistic expression’ (yet). These things have some value in their own right, believe it or not:

    An example. A friend and former flatmate of mine has been operating a record label out of his bedroom in Aigburth for a couple of years now. It’s really taken off over the past 8 months entirely due to word of mouth on MySpace, and he’s suddenly found himself at the point where he’s jetting off to America on a 2 month tour in September, and is Huw Stephens’ DIY label of the week this week! in case you’re interested.

    At the moment, I struggle to make any sort of comparisons between the two services. Just as I use MySpace for keeping track of cultural stuff (in the brochures for Liverpool Music Week last year all 120+ bands had a MySpace page) and Facebook for social networking, neither of these services are any good for blogging, so I fire up WordPress for that. But the comment system in WordPress is kinda poor at the moment, so I visit forums to air my views. Also I want a way of showcasing my thousands of photos, outside of a social networking environment, so I run a Gallery installation, etc, etc. The point is, there really is no ‘killer app’ yet. They all seem to lose their way when attempting to branch out into other areas (Fortune Cookies, anyone?).

    I wonder how a MySpace platform will change this then. It certainly makes the two services directly comparible, in their users minds as much as anything, and if MySpace stick with their absolutely apauling Profile Editor page then they certainly deserve to lose out. But with such a large user base I think we’ll see them both around for a long time to come.

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