October 23, 2009 | by Andrew Kameka
Is MySpace on its way to becoming the forgotten social network, specifically when it comes to the mobile experience? The former social networking king has dropped features from its website in an effort to re-focus on music, and the CEO has even said “Facebook is not our competition. We’re very focused on a different space.”
Is MySpace as a social network dead?
I once spoke to a developer who has an app with a social-networking purpose. The app doesn’t support MySpace, but it will in the future. No big deal, right? Not really, but MySpace’s initial absence points out that it has become an afterthought to the more buzzworthy Facebook and Twitter.
Android developers often integrate Facebook and Twitter into their apps, but they tend to ignore MySpace. Qik has a shortcut for sharing content on Facebook and Twitter, but not MySpace. BuddyMob bills itself as the one-stop social networking app, but doesn’t support MySpace. Even the social networking synergy offered in the HTC Sense UI doesn’t include MySpace.
Facebook is the fourth most popular destination on the Internet while MySpace doesn’t even crack the Top 10. And though Facebook has problems of its own, it’s still outperforming MySpace in visibility among mobile apps and users. Why is MySpace failing to gain traction? One problem may be that the network is geared towards music and lots of member profiles heavily use Flash. The lackluster experience of MySpace sans music and Flash makes visiting it almost pointless. Why visit your favorite band’s profile if you can’t listen to the new song they just uploaded or many of your friend’s glittery profiles are a nightmare to load. And that’s before you even consider the large decline of users who migrated to Facebook exclusively.
MySpace isn’t out of the game completely. However, if MySpace truly believes that nearly half of its traffic over the next few years will be from mobile users, it better do something to make using the network more enjoyable. When it comes to apps, support, and usefulness on the mobile device, the “place for friends” isn’t so friendly.