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The Case: The Analysis of MySpace

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Introduction

The internet is a system which is interconnected between computer networks that use to connect and serve billions of users in worldwide. This invention was first discovered in 1969 by US Departement of Defense to create a software for military purposes (Goodwill, 2008). From that moment, many scientists began to use it to do a research for scientific and educational research. However, the regulations of its use were changed in 1991 which were stated that the internet could be used by people for various purposes. As the result, the internet was grown rapidly. Many people contributed for developing the growth of the internet, such as they created a platform in the internet which was hopefully used by other people. The platform can be the place for people to share information, resources, and many more. But, as time goes by, the internet is not only used to access and share information, yet to communicate with other people who are located in millions miles away by sending or exchanging messages and documents for professional purposes. However, people nowadays use not only for professional purposes, but also for communicating in daily lives. This makes the internet become very useful and addictive technology. Moreover, it cannot be denied that nowadays people, whether they are teenagers, adults, or old people, live dependently with the internet. Here is an example of a platform which was used to communicate by people on the internet.

Myspace.com is a social networking service platform which was very popular in 2005 to 2009. It was found by Chris DeWolfe and Tom Anderson who worked in Intermix Media, Inc. (eUniverse) in Beverly Hills, California, where this company was an american marketing company. At first, eUniverse programmer employees saw big potentials in Friendster website features, especially Chris DeWolfe and Tom Anderson. Then, they tried to mimic its features and named it as MySpace. In 2003, this site was first launched using ColdFusion (Felix Gillette, 2011). However, this site was first functioned for finance, human resources, and technical expertise of eUniverse. Therefore, the first users of this site were eUniverse employees. But, by the late 2003, it was transitioned from eUniverse wesbite for an online data storage to a social networking site. This site was functioned to enable people communicating with each other and allowed them to create their own profile page by customizing the font style, colors, and the layout. DeWolf and Anderson successed convincing celebrities, musicians, and models to use this site. From that moment, Myspace quickly became popular among people, especially among musicians. Many musicians pioneered their careers from this platform and became popular, such as The Arctic Monkeys.

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In February 2005, Mark Zuckerberg offered US$75 million to DeWolfe for purchasing MySpace, but DeWolfe rejected his offer (Michael Arrington, 2009). Then, in July 2005, one of the first leading internet company named Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation which owns Fox Broadcasting company, purchased MySpace company for US$ 580 million (Trent Lapinski, 2006). According to Rowan Bridge (2006), Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation or Fox released MySpace for the first time in United of Kingdom in January 2006. On August 9th 2006, the numbers of MySpace’s users reached 100 million in Netherlands (Rupert Murdoch, 2006). Emma Barnett (2011) said that by the late 2007 into 2008, MySpace became the leading social networking site in the world and beat out its main competitor which was Facebook. However, on April 2008, Facebook overtook MySpace position became the main networking site and MySpace slowly lost its numbers of users (TechCruch, 2008). In this study, we examined factors or reasons of MySpace’s falling down.

Analysis

MySpace was used to be the biggest social networking site where everyone could share their ideas and communicate with each other. Many musicians were pioneering their careers on this platform by sharing their new song as well as videos to people. This site was created by Tom Anderson and Chris DeWolf because they were inspired by Friendster. Therefore, they built and copied the same platform as Friendster, and this site was successed beating it which was used to be the most popular site at that time. Then, they tried to beat another social networking site named as Facebook. But, in 2008, MySpace lost billions of its users. Here are the reasons why MySpace fell down significantly based on my perspective or point of view.

First, MySpace failed to be innovative, especially executing its product development. It was caused by its inconsistency on developing the site. According to Connie Chan, an analyst of Chess Media Group, in Amy Lee (2011), MySpace let people from entertainment industry developing the site. It means that they indirectly changed the platform from social networking site to be music networking site which was not fit to this site’s main purpose. Meanwhile, many people who signed up to this platform, had intentions and purposes to build their connections by communicating with other people on this social platform. At the same time, another social networking site named Facebook, keeps developing its site consistently to be user-friendly platform, and make better as well as easier way for its users to make friends (Connie Chan, 2011). Furthermore, the site (MySpace) was also neglected by the new owner named Rupert Murdoch as the owner of News Corp.

According to MySpace’s Vice President of Online Marketing, Sean Percival, (2015) said that News Corp or Rupert Murdoch did not stick to his promises to run MySpace well. He was paying more attention to another site named Wall Street Journal (Amy Lee, 2011). Connie Chan (2011) argued that this was caused by politics or red tape. At the meantime, a leader has a big impact on the business process of an organization, including product development process (Jorge Morales Pedraza, 2014). Therefore, the site failed to improve its platform.

Second, MySpace’s executives were more focused on gaining more profit rather than gaining more users. They asked their workers to make a billion dollars in a year. Therefore, they built a feature named MySpace Books. It did not mean that our users wanted to read books, but someone offered to be our sponsorship to make the feature (Sean Percival, 2015). From his statement, it can be known that customers were not the main target. This violates the service business’ flow which should be made or created a service for serving customers. From that moment, they focused on sponsorship or anything else related to gain profit, such as advertising profit.

According to Peter Chernin as New Corp’s Chief Operating Officer (2006), Google paid US$ 900 million to MySpace to make an advertising contract and the site (MySpace) doubled the ads. However, this was exactly creating spams for customers which were very annoying. According to HubSpot Adblock Plus Research Study (2016), 64% out of 731 ad blocker users felt that ads are annoying. Moreover, the ads were not filtered by MySpace. Sean Percival (2015) told that there was an ad named Punch The Monkey on MySpace which trapped users by inviting people to click on an animated monkey, but it was actually linking to surveys or questionnaires to sign up for credit cards. He just realized it after the ad was already popped up on this site. This could be very dangerous, unsafe, and annoying as well. But, again, MySpace’s executives were only focused on profit rather than users’ satifaction.

Third, MySpace was not thinking about users’ safety. They did not filter any contents which would be shown up on the site, such as highly sexualized photos of new celebrities which led to pornography. Amy Lee (2011) stated that in February 2006, polices investigated to MySpace about pornography contents which were not filtered by this site. Moreover, according to Brian Solis (2010), 33% of its users were under 17 years old. This was very harmful for children who were under 17 years old. No wonder if people stated that MySpace was very unsafe social networking site and surely, this affected to its image among people.

But, those reasons above are from my perspective or point of view and there are still many factors or reasons causing MySpace’s falling down which can be examined later. The factors could be examined from financial perspective, social impact, and many more. But most importantly, this topic is very interesting to be examined or observed because social networking sites become very useful, helpful, and popular in this era. People start to be addicted in it and some of them competes each other to create the very user-friendly platform. Therefore, many new social networking sites show up all of sudden among people’s lives.

Conclusion

The internet is a system which is interconnected between computer networks that use to connect and serve billions of users in worldwide. As time goes by, the internet is not only used to access and share information, yet to communicate with other people who are located in million miles away by sending or exchanging messages and documents for professional and daily lives purposes. It cannot be denied that many people, whether they are teenagers, adults, or old people, live dependently with the internet. There is an example of a platform which was used by teenagers on the internet to communicate with each other, named as MySpace.

Myspace.com is a social networking service platform which was very popular in 2005 to 2009. It was found by Chris DeWolfe and Tom Anderson who worked in Intermix Media, Inc. (eUniverse) in Beverly Hills, California. They tried to mimic or copy Friendster’s features and named it as MySpace. This site was functioned to enable people communicating with each other. From that moment, Myspace quickly became popular among people, especially among musicians. However, on April 2008, Facebook overtook MySpace position became the main networking site and MySpace slowly lost its numbers of users. Based on my observation, there are three reasons why MySpace lost billions of users significantly in 2008. First, it was caused by a failure of executing its product development due to inconsistency and lack of leadership style. Second, the executives were more focused on gaining profit rather than users’ satisfaction. Last, MySpace was not filtered any negative contents which were shown up on the site. Consequently, many people assumed that MySpace was very unsafe social networking sites, especially for children under 17 years old and they started to move on to another social site named Facebook.

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