News Corp’s social networking giant MySpace has seen better days. The New York Times reported today, that MySpace will be laying off two-thirds of its international staff, after announcing plans to layoff 30% of its U.S. staff earlier this month.
It’s not a big surprise, as Facebook seems to have a more consumer centric approach, where advertising is more contextual and more relevant and also less intrusive. When I think of MySpace, I think of advertising, and when I think of Facebook, I think of a place to connect with friends. But it wasn’t always that way. MySpace used to be a great place to go and check out new music and films and connect with friends. Now I see it soley as an advertising site, which doesn’t drive me back that often.
Facebook seems to limit its advertising more, so it is still a place for friends to connect. And for smart advertisers who can respect this place of socializing, there is a lot of opportunity to connect with fans of their products and get the word out through viral marketing, so long as it is done discreetly and in good form. Social networks are for socializing first and foremost and if they get too ad heavy, consumers will migrate elsewhere. So brands who are coming to the party, should show up with a bottle of wine.