One of Myspace’s founders, Chris DeWolfe, bends BusinessWeek’s ear, and the result is a cautionary tale of the fall of Myspace. DeWolfe is the “Hollywood guy” rather than a techie, and he’s reportedly in the running to buy back the once-dominant social network from News Corp. The story blames the usual suspects: Rupert Murdoch lost interest, Myspace got a rep for sleaziness (including crummy ads), it had a tough tech platform transition, and users lost interest and migrated en masse to Facebook. Some “lessons” don’t hold much value: Facebook has been publicly dinged for bad behavior numerous times without much damage and it’s covered with dating service ads. Myspace also got tons of guaranteed revenue from a ill-advised Google deal, never capitalizing on an early ad-targeting lead. But take note of the differences between social networks, for no other reason than to convince yourself that Facebook has staying power. Myspace embraced embedded apps, but didn’t build out a rich platform to support them the way Facebook has, let alone extend that platform through syndicated services. Myspace might still have some value as a medium-size entertainment portal.
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