January 13, 2011, 4:37 PM — Five years after dropping almost $600 million on a Web site few outside the Internet community had ever heard of, Rupert Murdoch is breaking up with MySpace.
News Corp has confirmed that it’s shopping for a buyer or possibly a merger for the once-dominant social network. (I understand it’s already gotten one very attractive offer.) That news comes a day after it announced it would be laying off nearly 50 percent of its staff.
All I can say is, don’t bump into the stripper pole on the way out.
[ See also: 10 stupid social media predictions for 2011 ]
I know, millions of people still like and use MySpace. But I don’t know a single one of them. Even my now 14-year-old son, who’d be online 24/7 and would surgically attach a laptop screen to his head if we’d let him, started a MySpace account and quickly abandoned it.
When he wants to watch video or listen to music, he goes to YouTube and Playlist.com. When he wants to annoy his friends or complain about his parents, he uses Facebook. MySpace has no place in his life. For that, at least, I am grateful.
Historically, MySpace grew so quickly because a) it put up absolutely no barriers to entry – just hand them an email address and you were in; and b) everything else available at the time was lame. Friendster? Six Apart? Tribe.net? Exsqueeze me?
But that very same laxness came to bite it in the hindquarters. With its near total lack of oversight, MySpace became a haven for pervs on the prowl and scammers on the loose. By the time it finally got its act together and started limiting access to the pages of underage members and hunting down the scammers, Facebook had already vaulted past it.