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November 14, 2005

MySpace growing even faster since acquisition

Steve Rosenbush

When News Corp. announced in July that it would buy MySpace for $580 million, some observers questioned whether the media giant would kill the Internet site's phenomenal popularity. But MySpace founders Chris DeWolfe and Tom Anderson say that the social-networking pioneer is growing even faster than before.

The site's growth, which leveled off during the summer, has picked up again. In October, the site logged 24.2 million unique users, up 12% from 21.6 million in September, according to a new report from researcher comScore Networks. A copy of the report, which is scheduled to be officially released to the public later this month, was provided to BusinessWeek Online. The number of unique visitors was roughly flat at 21 million in July, August and September.

Traffic has picked up again, too. MySpace had 11.6 billion page views in October, displacing eBay as the fourth-busiest site, according to the new report. The number of page views was roughly flat in the 9 billion range from July through September. The site has more page views than any Internet destination except Yahoo, Time Warner/AOL and MSN. It has nearly twice the number of page views as Google, which logged 6.6 billion in October.

To read more, see the tech channel at BusinessWeek Online.

Its success begs the question: What is the source of MySpace's appeal?

11:41 AM

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myspace is the new aim instant messenger, everyone who joins gets sddicted to it and can't stop. some people even spend hours a day on it

Posted by: allison at November 15, 2005 10:19 AM

Clearly. What's the appeal? How do you use the site?

Posted by: Steve Rosenbush at November 15, 2005 11:10 AM

Myspace has a unique 'in' with the preteen, teen, and young-adult population. It maintains the feel of a website developed and maintained by 'Tom' so many people feel more comfortable to talk openly.

So why is it so appealing? It has what it's demographic wants:

- It gives its users control to do whatever they want (within a reasonable bounds) on their OWN page (which many have begun to call their 'website'), such as change colors, add pictures, put up music videos, poll their friends, and more.

- It allows members to search and find their friends from school, around the block, and the city you lived in 4 years ago. In addition to finding old friends, you can meet new friends a variety of different ways.

- At last! Teens have a voice to be heard! Myspace allows everyone to post bulletins for all of their friends to read, as well as maintain a personal blog that anybody can subscribe to (if you allow anybody to view it). Myspace also gives the visitors a commenting function, where users can add a comment to one of their friend's pages for any of their visitors to see. Lastly, Myspace gives users a private 'Message' system where users can send a message to an indivudual, whether a friend or not.

- For some Myspacers, I know the fact that they are mixed in with a bunch of bands makes them feel more powerful and/or cool. You can message your favorite band (if they are smart enough to have a myspace and check it) and in a week you might actually get a response!

How do you use the site? Sign up first, then you just learn from their. It really isn't too difficult, though a lot of it could have been done so it was much easier.

Posted by: Corey at November 15, 2005 11:49 AM

Why do people love MySpace? Well basically it allows the user to create an homage to themselves, and show the world just how loved they are by the friends that they get to show off so prominently on their page. Not to mention for the nosy person in all of us, it allows us to anonymously stalk and glean information about whoever is a member. And then there's the beauty of showing off your personality, via the videos and music clips and wallpapers and such...

In short, it's a procrastinator's paradise.

Posted by: Leila at November 15, 2005 03:08 PM

Aside from all of the previously mentioned facts, the key selling point across all age groups is probably one missed by a lot of others, it offers a trmendous amount of value for the best price, it's free.

Posted by: Aj Jones at November 15, 2005 05:39 PM

While I agree that MySpace being free is a major selling point, I don't think it's necessarily the main draw. If that was the case, wouldn't Friendster still be a major player, and the Facebook be even a bigger brand?

Posted by: Leila at November 15, 2005 07:38 PM

I wouldn't say it has a lot of value but it certainly does have the right price. MySpace also isn't particularly customizeable compared to other blogging sites which really can be manipulated by the user.

MySpace works only when your friends are on it too, as with any social networking site. You must persuade your friends to join. When a core group jumps on the bandwagon, whole communities can follow. For students in high school, that often can be schools can be plunged rather quickly into the madness.

I've seen MySpace turn into a popularity contest over who has the most friends. All of a sudden, you can be "friends" with an acquaintence or even a person you simply know of and have never met, all with the goal of boosting your numbers. It doesn't bode well for real friendship but it certainly becomes quite a popularity game.

Posted by: Ryan at November 16, 2005 12:46 AM

I have been a myspace member since april 2003 and I love it ! Myspace is not just for teens ! Im a 40 year old mom who was introduced to myspace long before my teen daughter was ! I have met many wonderful adults on myspace who I have become good friends with in real life . I am also in tons of myspace groups with other adults ages 30 - 60 !
Myspace has brought great pleasure and happiness into my life ! Yes teens can and do get into trouble on the internet but that can happen on any site!

Posted by: JOEJOE25 at November 16, 2005 02:55 AM

Myspace provides invaluable soundboard for bands. My band, Mobella, owes much of its success to the barrier breaking abilities of this site. We are able to reach fans in Texas, California and New York who would otherwise have no business knowing about a fledgling Orlando band. We've been together since March and are currently embarking on a mini-tour around Florida based on connections with bands and fans on Myspace. From a marketing standpoint, the consumer has an instant opportunity for trial. If you can just pique the interest of a small percentage of the millions of myspace users, you can instantaneously show them who you are and what you are all about. Brilliant!

Brandon
www.mobellamusic.com

Posted by: Brandon at November 16, 2005 11:33 AM

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