Goodbye Tom: MySpace Up For Sale

After years of attempting to variously reinvent, reorganize, and recapture the market space it's been losing to Facebook, MySpace is out the door. This isn't a surprise—News Corp declared it was ready to sell the segment last February. Now the social networking site is actually on the chopping block. News Corp is quite profitable, but the changes facing certain markets, particularly print, has likely contributed to the MySpace spinoff.

Several venture capital firms are expected to bid on the company, including Redscout Ventures, Thomas H. Lee Partners, and Criterion Capital Partners LLC. News Corp reportedly wants at least $100 million for it, having paid $580 million for the website in 2005. In February, News Core took a non-cash $275 million non-cash hit, citing "the impairment of goodwill related to the Digital Media Group and an organizational restructuring at MySpace.”

When News Corp first acquired MySpace, it was deemed a potentially smart investment. The website dominated social networking from 2005 and maintained a traffic lead over Facebook through 2007. Then MySpace made what might be the worst business mistake of the past 10 years—it let anyone make webpages.

You know what this layout needs? SPARKLES!

HTML may not be the most serious of serious business, but surfing the site became the real-world equivalent of touring Dante's Inferno. First you waited for the background to pop in. Then "Loading Audio Plugin." After ten minutes, just as you've become convinced that your computer must be off cutting a record, your browser crashes.

Because you still possess a few small feelings of goodness toward the person whose profile you wanted to visit, you reload the site. It crashes. You reboot, and open the webpage. "Loading Audio Plugin..." dominates your life (and your CPU's processor) for about a week. Eventually, the site loads. You attempt to scroll down. It freezes.

Look at the kitty. Loook. Loooooooooooooooook. See? That didn't take long!

Thus begins a game of cat-and-mouse with the processor, which has cut its record, gone triple platinum, and is now touring the Midwest. The goal is to move it towards the link you actually want to click on during those half seconds when it isn't assigning all its IRQs to hell and cutting deals with Satan.

Finally, you're able to click on "Message," which will at least carry you to a page not constructed from the cursed bones of  Irish dockyard workers who built the Titanic at Harland and Wolff. The mouse pauses. Stutters. And without any warning, your speakers explode with a heavenly combination of visual kei, Type O Negative, and polka. It's 2 AM—welcome to MySpace.

On a slightly more serious note, MySpace's primary value is in its brand. Unfortunately, it's the brand of a product people stopped using because they didn't like it anymore. Granted, there are companies in worse positions—we're fairly certain that all MySpace employees open each day by chanting: "At Least We Aren't AOL," but Facebook as acquired a reputation as the more mature version of FB. MySpace's attempt to recast itself as a music and rich content hub driven much interest to the site. It's still strong in certain demographics and possibly in other countries, but VC firms looking for a good buy may be more interested in selling off the company's assets than in anything else.
Via:  Yahoo News
inspector 3 years ago

LOL, i found it funny when i first say this article on my facebook :P. But hey i used myspace back when facebook wasn't out yet, so RIP :)

LBowen 3 years ago

As soon as everybody could add stuff to their pages I stopped using Myspace. Such a pain with all the graphics, music, and backgrounds that made text invisible. It was time to jump ship a long time ago with Myspace.

omegadraco 3 years ago

Goodbye Tom and good riddance. But I agree may it R.I.P.

animatortom 3 years ago

Hey if everyone doesnt like me then all I can say is #$%@& you :P

That is so true, when I started looking at people self made myspace pages, they were so oversaturated with crap it kinda felt like I was on some Russian porn site. That made me feel like I was about to get attacked with viruses instead of looking at peoples social page.

moparcon 3 years ago

Watch Google or Facebook buy it. Just watch.

rrplay 3 years ago

what about iSpace ??

'Like' it would actually matter to me.and comment

OSunday 3 years ago

"The mouse pauses. Stutters. And without any warning, your speakers explode with a heavenly combination of visual kei, Type O Negative, and polka. It's 2 AM—welcome to MySpace."

Experiences like that^ are LITERALLY what scared me away from Myspace Permanently and onto facebook

AKwyn 3 years ago

Now's the time for me to start up

In all seriousness, I didn't care much for the design headaches as much as the fact that I just stopped using it all together, like I lost interest. In all essence, a MySpace profile can look good if it is designed right but then again, no one was really clever enough to take advantage of it.

Still, I will always miss how MySpace was in 2005-2007, great times with all of the competition and stuff. Could see MySpace retooled into a music site seeing as how that's the best thing they've got going for them.

HHGrrl 3 years ago

I never got into MySpace. The pages were just too cluttered. They reminded me of some of those homemade Geocities websites that were hideous to look at.

ThunderBird 3 years ago

Kinda suprised it took this long. Although I did have a account back in the day.

deadmanet 3 years ago

I sitll got one myself, but only check in on it once a week(if that) to see how a couple of old friends are doing. The ones who still haven't migrated over to facebook.

Alazarin 3 years ago

As an independent musician I was quite happy using MySpace as an environment for networking and promoting my creativity. Up until recently it worked swimmingly. And then for some unknown reason someone at MySpace decided to lard up their pages with way too many flash-powered widgets which brought my computer to its knees. I use a quad-core PC with 4gB of RAM and, suffice to say, it goes like a rocket. Logging into MySpace in recent months has become an unpleasant experience where pages lock up and freeze, browsers crash, plugin containers fail, etc., etc. Memorable, yes, but the type of experience that would not appeal to anyone other than hard-core masochists.

Clean up the coding at MySpace. Make it a fast, easy and pleasant experience and I'm certain people will return. Years of user-generated content is there. All it takes is a sensible approach to making the UI as light as possible in terms of demands on system resources.

DaveyBatterson 3 years ago

Um.... You obviously didn't "proof read" the article before you published it. I got through it and I understand what you meant anyway... Just a little F.Y.I.

Back in '05, I was diggin' myspace! I loved the site. It was revolutionary. But as time went by, after it was bought by Time Warner, it slowly just went to hell. What was once a really site to hang out on became a site you ONLY hung out on when there wasn't anything on tv, or it was raining out. It was absolutely bombarded with flash, audio and extremely hungry graphics. Most people don't have the kind of video card needed to be able to freely surf myspace without some sort of computer chug, crash, frozen page or mouse, browser crash, kill dead, screw it...... My advice to them in hindsight, "Stop Displaying 65,000 ads per second". Every inch of every single page within myspace, other than a profile was absolutely plastered in advertising. Mostly flashy. The site became a ghost town in no time. A mass exodus of annoyed people soon trotted over to FB for good. And they'll never go back. And now, honestly - I'm sick of Facebook......... The web shall always automatically recycle itself...... :)

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