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As mentioned recently in our post entitled Facebook Overtakes MySpace in US Social Networking Superiority, MySpace have bucked the trend of resurgent social media sites and have actually seen widespread drops in membership and visitor numbers.
Whilst they still maintain a solid second position, the plight of the once runaway leader has never been more graphically illustrated than with today’s announcement that they will be laying off 30% of their staff.
With waning user interest comes a slump in commercial attention. Investment by the likes of Google in the past now looks unlikely to be replicated, meaning that belts have to be tightened and battle plans redrawn in order to make MySpace a viable business with aspirations in the future of social media.
The emergence of Facebook as the dominant force in the social sector has bludgeoned MySpace into decline. Something that clearly wasn’t in evidence a little over a year and a half ago when this BBC report documented the initial collaboration between Google and MySpace.
With Twitter quickly on the rise too and Facebook continuing to dominate and grow at the top, MySpace’s position appears a little perilous. Immediate concern will no doubt be focussed on consolidating second place and starting to redevelop the brand once more. Commercially it’s still viable, but the slippery slope can be hard to get off, just ask the people at Friendster.
No doubt this should serve as a warning to the whole industry; as it highlights that any company, no matter how previously dominant, is fallible. Twitter and Facebook take note.