MySpace, Digg and Delicious struggle to remain relevant


It looks like more bad news for struggling social network MySpace. Research company comScore has just published figures showing MySpace has lost more than 10 million unique users worldwide between January and February 2011. Year on year the site has lost almost 50 million users, down from close to 110 million in February 2010.

This huge decrease in users numbers must come as a surprise to the MySpace team which has been working hard to tranform the network into the Internet’s main music destination, building on its reputation for having launched the careers of artists like Arctic Monkeys, Kate Nash and Lily Allen.

The user statistics follows the company’s recent announcement about plans to cut half its workforce putting 500 people out of work.

It’s a sorry state of affairs for MySpace which, five years ago was THE social network of youth who visited in droves to talk to friends and listen to music. But then Facebook came along and everything changed.

News Corp bought MySpace for £330 million back in 2005 but has struggled with how to make it generate revenue ever since. If sold today, the site would likely fetch only £50 million.

My take? Other early social success stories including Digg! and Delicious are also struggling to remain relevant. But for users, all three of these social communities do provide value and it would be a shame to pull the plug and walk away. Hopefully by listening to users, these companies will innovate and transform to survive.

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Sherrilynne Starkie is a consultant at PDMS. For almost 18 years, Sherrilynne has been advising blue-chip organisations on both sides of the pond, covering Britain, Canada and the United States. For three years, Sherrilynne was the Tech Talk columnist for the Isle of Man newspapers. She serves on the steering committee for Isle of Man Women in Business, is on the Executive Council for the Isle of Man Junior Chamber of Commerce. In the past she was on the management committee for the Isle of Man British Computer Society and the marketing committee of Junior Achievement.