The demise of a once-mighty website is often hard to watch. Many people still have fond memories of MySpace – it was the first social network for a good portion of the online world and did its part to launch social media into the mainstream.
Traffic has been steadily declining all year, faster than originally anticipated. When it was sold in June for $35 million, most believed that the shell of the company would have to be scrapped and the core would have to be rearranged completely in order to remain relevant beyond 2011.
Evidence of the decline is visible in the most recent numbers from Hitwise. The top 3 are predictable and will stay where they are in the rankings for near future (despite Google+ and its amazing initial growth):
- Facebook (65.37%)
- YouTube (19.74%)
- Twitter (1.28%)
At number 4, Hitwise lists Yahoo! Answers, a site that is arguably, loosely a social network.
MySpace was #5 a month ago but has since dropped. Two companies heading in the opposite direction will have it pushed down to #7 by next month.
Tagged.com, founded in 2004, is one of the few social networks that is actually turning a profit outside of Facebook. The company decided early on that a head-to-head battle with Facebook was futile and pivoted in 2007 to go after “social discovery” rather than using the established connections of friends and family that drives Facebook’s popularity.
The site is currently #5 on the Hitwise list.
As for LinkedIn, being 0.04% behind MySpace puts them in perfect position to leap over them before the end of October. The business social network opened its IPO in May at $83 and quickly rose to over $100 the next day before falling back into the $80s. It has been a roller coaster ride ever since, dipping into the $60s, back up to over $100, then down again. Shares closed today $0.22 lower than when the offering was initially made to the public.
They are within striking-distance of pushing MySpace down a notch but are still considerably behind Tagged.
What does all of this mean for the future of MySpace? It’s nothing we didn’t already know. The site will have to reinvent itself again with a hardcore focus on entertainment or else the $35 million price tag will end up being too high.