b. What it does: The new MySpace is an entertainment network that connects members to music, celebrities, TV, movies and games. Users customize their own pages to feature their entertainment specialty. MySpace Music has an expanding catalog of free streaming audio and video content for members to view and use. However, much of the site has become more of a huge, online portfolio for unknowns to post their works.
c. Why it declined: Back when Facebook membership was limited to college students only, MySpace built up a strong following among high-schoolers and others without an .edu email address. But once Facebook opened its membership up to everyone, MySpace started to spiral down. In January, MySpace tried to re-invent itself by focusing primarily on pop culture and entertainment. It still ranks in the top five social networks for members/usage, but the popularity of this one-time giant and only real Facebook competitor has fallen drastically. In fact, it was announced last week that News Corp has sold social media site Myspace for about $35 million to online advertising company Specific Media, according to a source familiar with the transaction. The deal calls for News Corp to retain a minority stake in the website that it purchased six years ago for $580 million, the companies said.
In January, the company laid off 47 percent of its staff in an effort to revive the site's financials. This coincided with the redesign and refocus on the entertainment industry.
d. Stats: Claims 100 million users worldwide with 23 percent new growth this year, and 50 percent market share in the 13-35 demographic in the United States. And, advertises that the Myspace Mobile users spend over 40 minutes a week on this service.
e. Funding sources: Acquired by News Corp. in October 2005
a. Founders and date founded: Jonathan Abrams and Peter Chin; 2002
b. What it does: Like MySpace, Friendster has redesigned its site to focus more on music and gaming. It looks a lot like IMVU with its new offerings of games and avatars, but has also incorporated a number of the MySpace features in the music areas. It provides similar options for connecting with friends and family, but still lacks the numerous features and functionality of Facebook and MySpace.
c. Why it declined: Friendster famously lost out to Facebook in the battle to become THE social networking site. Abrams, himself, told students in a Stanford Graduate School of Business class that Friendster is now used as a business school case-study of what not to do. Still, Friendster is popular in Asia.
d. Stats (page views, number of subscribers, followers, etc.): 90 percent of the traffic is from Asia; 115 million registered users; 61 million unique visitors a month (globally); 19 billion page views per month.
e. Funding sources: Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Benchmark Capital, DAG Ventures , IDG Ventures.
Acquired in December 2009 by MOL Global
3. Classmates (now called Memory Lane)
a. Founders and date founded: Randy Conrads; 1995
b. What it does: Originally, it was just set up to allow members to search for classmates by the years of school attendance or by graduation date, plan events such as reunions, and create bulletin boards for notes and messages; however, it was just completely redesigned with a sort of "50s" look and a new slogan claiming that it's the "premier destination for accessing nostalgic content, yearbooks, and connecting with people."