MySpace launched a U.S. presidential campaign site Monday, and it has the potential of reaching millions of people who don't otherwise go to political Web sites, one analyst said.
MySpace, a division of Fox Interactive Media Inc., launched MySpace Impact , featuring MySpace pages for 2008 presidential candidates.
Candidates with pages on MySpace Monday were Democratic Senators Hillary Clinton of New York; Barack Obama of Illinois; Joe Biden of Delaware; and Dennis Kucinich of Ohio; John Edwards, a former North Carolina senator and 2004 vice presidential candidate, along with Republicans Senator John McCain of Arizona; former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani; and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney. Libertarian Ron Paul also has a page.
MySpace hopes to play a "powerful role" in the 2008 elections, CEO Chris DeWolfe said in a statement. The site plans to give users easy-to-use information in a format they can relate to, he said.
MySpace, with 64.4 million unique visitors from the U.S. in February, has the potential to play a major role, said Andrew Lipsman, a senior analyst at ComScore Networks, a Web traffic measurement firm. MySpace users represented about 37 percent of all U.S. Internet users, he said.
In addition, people ages 18 to 24 remain the heaviest users of MySpace and the age group least likely to go to other political sites. "There's certainly the opportunity to drive new traffic to that channel ... because the site is so large," he said.
As of Monday afternoon, "friends" were already on board various candidate sites. For instance, Romney, McCain and Clinton each had more than 1,000 MySpace friends, while Obama had more than 68,000. Paul, also running for president, had about 350 friends. Giuliani's profile was set to "private" and so it could not be publicly seen.
The candidates themselves will have a hand in determining what traffic comes to the MySpace Impact site, he said. "The real test will be determined on how good the content is," he said.
MySpace will roll out an Impact-specific profile, which will allow candidates to use the network's first "viral" fund-raising tool, within weeks, MySpace said. MySpace will also host a series of online political events through the 2008 presidential elections.