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Summary:

MySpace President Tom Anderson posted a blog last week detailing a bunch of recent changes to the site. The new features lead me to believe that the company is finally starting to realize that Facebook, with its anti-spam features, clean-cut layout, and growing traffic figures, might […]

MySpace President Tom Anderson posted a blog last week detailing a bunch of recent changes to the site. The new features lead me to believe that the company is finally starting to realize that Facebook, with its anti-spam features, clean-cut layout, and growing traffic figures, might be on to something.

One of the most annoying things about MySpace is the gobs of spam that get through to members’ inboxes. Getting dozens of unsolicited friend requests and emails from faux porn stars gets old pretty quickly.

Facebook doesn’t seem to have these problems. Plus MySpace, despite being owned by News Corp. (NWS), still looks like a hobby project. Maybe that pseudo-authenticity is why it still thrives, porn spam and all.

Here’s a list of all the changes to MySpace, and how they compare to what Facebook offers:

New (Optional) Homepage
MySpace’s new optional layout for its homepage is a bit like Facebook, except with a lot more color. The layout separates each area of the page in boxes, with a prominent friends status box, similar to Facebook’s user interface. In his blog post, Anderson notes that eventually users will be able to drag-and-drop the boxes to different parts of the page (exactly like what Facebook already allows). Note: Facebook uses this content-dragging interface for user profiles, whereas it sounds like MySpace just plans to implement this feature for the user homepage, which cannot be seen by other members.

Updated Music Player
Compared to Facebook, MySpace has a strong musician presence. The latest music player update on the site just adds volume control and a song history link that will display songs previously added to a profile. Facebook doesn’t have an official music player for user profiles, though users can add sound files by putting a music app (such as Project Playlist, Imeem, or iLike) on their pages.

Updated Forums.
MySpace’s forums are traditional message boards. Facebook only has a forum-type communication option within its networks and groups.

New “Friends View”
MySpace’s Friends View display has traditionally made it very difficult to sort through people on a user’s friend list, while Facebook’s user interface for organizing friends is thorough and one of the best features on its site. The new display on MySpace now lets users choose to view “all friends,” “online friends,” “mutual friends,” and “recently added friends.” It’s still nowhere near as good as Facebook.

Updated Photos Section
“You can now tag photos and link them to a friend’s profile,” writes Andersen. This sounds suspiciously similar to Facebook’s photo section.

Spam Control
MySpace finally makes it possible to block inbox spammers and cut down on random friend ad requests. Users can decide what level of spam filtering they want through their account settings. Facebook already has many of these controls built into its user contact system. Then again, Facebook is now cluttered with what I like to call AppSpam — dozens of unwanted application invites sent by “friends.” There are days when I think MySpace’s porn spam is easier to deal with than nine thousand invites for the latest Vampire or Zombie game on Facebook!

  1. It may sound cheating but good for end user – where MySpace and Facebook are working in tandem to remove spams and other security issues.

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  2. I have an account at Myspace.com and have recently given it a good makeover.

    Eventhough I have heard a few horror stories about Myspace.com, I have not had any spam problems.

    And even if I do, I don’t think I would mind much because I am there to network with others, exchange ideas and have fun.

    I have not yet have the time to create a Facebook.com account because I am currently having fun with hanging out Stumbleupon.com

    I believe once a lot of people really get to know Stumbleupon and hang out there a few times, they would not remember Myspace.com, Facebook.com and even Youtube.com because Stumbleupon.com has so many features and group activities that make networking a sizzling great fun.

    I heartily recommend it.

    So, Rush, not walk and go check it out, you would be glad when you do, like me

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  3. Facebook does not let you drag & drop on your homepage. You’re confusing the profile page with the home page. And MySpace clearly wins in the profile department as far as customization goes. The spam controls have been on MySpace for months, but Tom only announced them in his blog a week ago. Regular users already know about the controls. MySpace has many more friend view options that you didnt list. Tagging photos sounds like Flickr, not Facebook. MySpace has made a ton of minor tweaks over the last 6 months. The site is greatly improved for it. You might want to try looking at the site instead of relying on his blog post, especially if your purpose is to criticize it.

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  4. I admire MySpace’s recognition they have to change something, but the sheer amount of spam associated with them, plus the fact the site is still visually and practically geared toward a young crowd, doesn’t have much hope of changing. Looking at the spam issue it’s almost as if MySpace is run by PCs and Facebooks by Macs … heh.

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  5. hate them both. argh!

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  6. So i have both…recently i’ve been more into facebook because i get 80 bizzilion spam messages a day…but now that my profile is completly private i’ve been getting less……in fact i’ve only had one…but i like face book more….:D…and i hear what you’re saying about the zombie obsession thing…damn…:D

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  7. New Myspace features very similar to Facebook

    I was reading a blog by Adena DeMonte about the new features that Myspace has added to their site. They now have a skin option called “New Home Skin.” The page features the more clean-cut format that Facebook users enjoy….

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  8. [...] GigaOm reports that last week, Tom Anderson of MySpace posted on his blog that MySpace has been making improvements to the site, some that actually make it more similar to Facebook. [...]

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  9. This is exactly what I like to hear. Facebook comes out swinging, and Myspace is forced to step up their game. Competition always leads to bigger leaps in usability.

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  10. @Lenny Waters,

    A line should be drawn between profile customization options and lax platform for complete profile butchering.

    Tagging photos in this context sounds a lot like Facebook, not Flickr.

    @Adena DeMonte,

    I like your “hobby project” analogy, that’s a good way to put it.

    I like to say that “Facebook is the Google of social networking (innovating), and MySpace is the Microsoft (stealing ideas).”

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