As Facebook continues to grow, MySpace.com has been forced to cut 500 employees – a number which accounts for 47% of its current staff.
MySpace once claimed the top social networking spot in 2006 until its primary competitor, Facebook, took over in 2008. By 2009, MySpace was forced to lay off 1,000 employees, accounting for 30% of its then workforce.
In the most recent cuts, a MySpace staffer told CNN that the majority of developers stayed safe whereas nearly every other position got the boot.
“Today’s tough but necessary changes were taken in order to provide the company with a clear path for sustained growth and profitability,” CEO Mike Jones said in a written statement.
MySpace has recently moved away from social network and repositioned itself as more of a music and social entertainment hub.
Remember Tila Tequila?
Yea, she was discovered on MySpace. Discovered as what, we’re not sure.
Although the site only has around 130 million users compared to Facebook’s 500 million, MySpace continues to claim, “These [employee cuts] were purely driven by issues related to our legacy business, and in no way reflect the performance of the new product.”
Somewhat of a “little brother” to Facebook, MySpace even offered direct login using Facebook credentials and Facebook profile integration into a user’s MySpace profile. Whether this is strategtic upkeep to maintain MySpace users or what CNN called “a white flag,” time will only tell.
Still, Jones remains optimistic. ”While it’s still early days, the new MySpace is trending positively and the good news is we have already seen an uptick in returning and new users.”
But that’s not to say he has not recognized MySpace’s faults.
In an interview with Fortune magazine, Jones stated,
“My belief is that MySpace got very, very diverse in its offering, and didn’t really have a specialized service that users understood,” he explained.
“As we broadened our service over time, I think we lost some of the core strategic functions that MySpace offered early on that delighted its customers.”
In my opinion, MySpace is already too outdated to truly compete with Facebook in the social networking space. That said, it’s highly possible that MySpace can reemerge as a hub for music and entertainment.
So, for those active in that space, MySpace is still a key social networking tool.
Perhaps there will be more internal restructuring within MySpace in the coming years, but perhaps these cuts are what will keep the smaller, yet specialized social network afloat.