News Corp. (NSDQ: NWS) giveth, and News Corp. taketh away. On the same day that we learn about one division, Fox Mobile, downsizing staff, we also learn that another division, MySpace, is bulking up in its mobile push, with a new website and iPhone app. The news comes on the same day that the social media site promoted Mike Jones to the role of CEO, and Dustin Finer to the role of chief of operations. It also comes a day after News Corp. COO Chase Carey said he was open to selling MySpace or teaming up with another company.
The renewed effort on mobile underscores how MySpace’s audience has evolved over the years: a majority are still accessing it by PC, but now Myspace says a third of its “Gen-Y” users are also going to MySpace via mobile on a daily basis.
The new site and app are also an extension of the rebranding work on the main site that was unveiled at the end of October.
Like the main website, which has refocussed itself around key entertainment brands, the new mobile website also promises “a rich discovery experience around entertainment.” This will mean access to breaking news, blogs and status updates from music artists and celebs, and video from stablemates like Fox but also others like TMZ.
It is also turning on more social features to better compete with Facebook and other social nets that have already established themselves on mobile: sharing photos, videos and links; status updates. And more “internetwork” networking, along the lines of MySpace’s content deal with Facebook.
The mobile website, which launches today, can be accessed on iPhone, iPod Touch, Android, Palm (NSDQ: PALM) and select Nokia (NYSE: NOK) and BlackBerry devices (but not, it seems, Windows Phone 7 or some of the other proprietary platforms like Bada).
MySpace is also announcing its new iPhone app, although it will only be available in the coming weeks. It will operate more like a Facebook or Twitter feed, but the updates will be focussed around news from celebs and artists on MySpace, as well as “trending activities” of musicians that are in the user’s iTunes library. The app, too, will have lots of the same sharing features as the mobile website.