I’ll be honest: When I’m looking for stories to include in SmartBrief on Social Media, MySpace almost never crosses my mind. When you’re talking about innovative platforms with a broad reach and a bright future, it no longer makes the list. Instead, it’s joined the ranks of the social media also-rans, consigned to a dusty closet with Bolt, Friendster and Orkut.
Or maybe not. Craig Daitch makes the case in today’s lead story that it’s not too late to turn MySpace around and make it a real competitor again. I don’t know if the network (or its parent company) has the will to do what it takes — but I have to agree with Daitch that the potential is still in the network. Here’s why:
MySpace’s decline has left a vacuum in the social-media universe. Facebook is a great general-interest network. I love it. But it’s not enough. Titans need rivals to push them forward. They might not like to admit it, but Microsoft needs Apple. Coke needs Pepsi. The New York Yankees need the Boston Red Sox. Rivalries make all the difference between good and great organizations.
For now, Buzz and Twitter are managing to keep Facebook from becoming totally soft and pudgy. But you can see the complacency setting in. Privacy issues, wonky redesigns — it is starting to get comfortable. Twitter can’t fill the void. Neither can Foursquare or LinkedIn. They serve different purposes. The only thing that’s going to make Facebook be all it can be is a viable alternative to Facebook.
MySpace was on top once, so everyone’s heard of it. But everyone’s also written it off, so it’s got nothing to lose. That’s exactly the kind of platform that could really do something daring and innovative and shock us all into taking them seriously again. I don’t know if the company (or its parent, News Corp.) has the will to go for broke like this, but I hope they do. Otherwise, there’s always room in the closet.
Can MySpace make a comeback? Does Facebook really need a rival? What would MySpace need to do to get back in the game?
Image credit, ToddSm66, via iStock