Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Is MySpace on the way back? Up to a point

There's a lot of excitement about the supposed one million new users since December MySpace is trumpeting.

So, is it on the way back?

Hmm. Kind-of.

First, these "million new users" are actually new account registrations, mainly driven through people signing up through Facebook. It's plausible some (most? all?) are actually people with existing, lapsed accounts for whom creating a fresh MySpace log-in is preferable to trying to remember old passwords.

Second, they're signing up to use the music player via Facebook. That doesn't mean they're not engaging with MySpace, but the product they're using is something different from the old MySpace. Not a problem for the new owners, but 'new service signs up users' isn't quite the same as the 'MySpace comes back' angle we're being fed.

Third: 'registered new users' is an interesting choice of metric. Not even the number of users, or active users: people could still be flowing away, or launching a new account, using it once and moving on.

Finally, a lot of users could be a problem rather than a blessing. If people engage with that free-to-user, expensive-to-company music through a box on a page around which Facebook are selling highly targeted adverts, there's going to be a problem making ends meet.

Still, that's all for the future: for now, something with the same name as a defunct social network finally has a positive figure to announce. Let's hit the Like button. Did MySpace have a Like button?


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