This past Tuesday involved class presentations on certain topics we thought were essential. One of my fellow classmates talked about the rise and fall of the social media website Myspace, while I talked about the prominence of Facebook, the largest social media website today. Although Myspace is the predecessor to Facebook, one had a better business plan to survive the changing landscape of technology (hint: it’s the one that got a movie deal). Facebook had two key elements in their triumph over Myspace in the clash for the crown of social media king.
If one were to walk down any busy city street, there’s a good chance that the person would see pedestrians with their heads down looking at their phones of tablets. Companies need to understand that today’s consumers want their information mobile and easy to access at all times. In the case of Facebook vs. Myspace, Facebook has been driving toward major mobile integration since 2006. With its popular and useful mobile application, Facebook has taken their services to the smart phones and tablets because they are well aware that their users are always on the go and want easy access to a social media hub. Myspace was not as aggressive to mobile integration, which was another reason for their lack of success (compared to Facebook, at least).
Myspace is a social network, but it claims to have a strong emphasis on promoting and sharing music. While that can (and has) help spread the music of unknown artists, it limits the potential of Myspace. As a social media site, there has to be a connection for all people interested in using the site. It’s great for musicians to connect to others, but how can other people connect? The success of Facebook comes from how open the site was to users. Facebook is not about promoting artists, but just connecting people. People can share and promote their business, sports team, and other various projects. If they’re not there to share a project, they can simply share themselves. Facebook allows users to connect with anyone through mutual interests, which is how normal people connect and interact through conversation. Facebook takes that idea and makes it simpler, showing what people like on their profile so that others can find mutual interests. Connecting through social media was both stripped down to a simple form, but also expanded through the open style of Facebook. Myspace appeared exclusive, while Facebook kept letting more in.