IntroductionMySpace started its operations in the year 2003 as social networking web site for independent musicians in Los Angeles. It grew so rapidly such that by the year 2006 it was regarded the most popular website in the United States of America. This is because within the same period, MySpace overtook rival social networking sites such as Facebook and Friendster and claimed nearly 80 percent of online social networking visits. The web site’s popularity made it very attractive to giant advertisers such as Procter and Gamble and Coca Cola, which sought access to the youth market (Farnham 2006). MySpace’s rapid growth attracted Rupert Murdoch, proprietor of the giant media firm News Corporation to purchase it in 2005.
The acquisition of MySpace by News Corporation bolstered the site’s growth due to capital investment that enabled rapid innovation. So fast was the growth that by 2006, the investments achieved included 20 novel products in development, which included Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) telephony as well as 11 international sites (Farnham 2006; Johnson, Scholes & Whittington 2008, p. 355). But in spite of the rapid growth, a number of problems arose.
For instance, the high volume of traffic and conflicts in user controlled use of the site created capacity as well as reliability problems. In addition, more challenges to MySpace were posed by the entry of new players in networking such as YouTube, which was very popular for its video service. This was in addition to mounting pressure from online predators as well as malicious gossip aimed to derail MySpace’s development. Further arguments against MySpace were based on the point that as the company matured, it would slowly lose its popularity (which seems to be the case presently with the increase in popularity of other social networking sites such as Facebook). Against a backdrop of the issues highlighted above, this paper is a position analysis of MySpace.
The analysis will be done by using and evaluating modules as well as various techniques to critically appraise the organization’s current issues and challenges such as increased competition from rival organizations. The analysis will be use to suggest as wide range of alternatives that can be used to deal with the issues and challenges that will be identified.
Performance of MySpace in recent years By the year 2006, MySpace has gained a lot of popularity, and it was embraced mostly young adults and teenagers who found its features irresistible. In the United States, MySpace ranked only second to Yahoo Inc. in terms of page views. MySpace’s unique features included the ability of users to create customized profile pages, where they could post photos, maintain journal blogs, create links with their friends’ profiles, and access messages that were left by others.
These features have been very instrumental in the growth of MySpace over the last three years. As of 2006, MySpace had registered over 74 million users the world over and it was estimated to be adding almost 250,000 new users every day (Perez 2006; Farnham 2006). Most of MySpace users between 2006 and 2009 have been teens, who enjoy the ability to set up personal profile pages and also post notes that are easily accessed by their classmates and friends. The information shared includes where the teens go to parties as well as the daily events that happen in schools or other institutions of learning.
By 2006, MySpace had become the most preferred web site, snatching the position from Google, which has previously overtaken Yahoo in the same dimensions. As such in spite of it not being a search engine, MySpace became a threat to Google because it was considered the first place to visit on the Internet (Perez 2006; Farnham 2006).