MySpace Joins IM Fray
MySpace has stuck its finger in another pie with the launch of its own instant messaging network. Called MySpace IM, the company released a beta version on Tuesday that is closed to other IM networks, and that requires the operating system Windows 98 or newer. The tag line: “IM for Friends.”
MySpace boasts about 70 million users, which would constitute an ample user base. AIM’s instant messaging network is composed of roughly 40 million users. In an obvious attempt to imitate MySpace, even as MySpace copies it, AOL recently announced the soon-to-come AIM Pages, which will be a MySpace-like Internet social network.
MySpace IM seems to have had a problem-free release, although there are a few minor quibbles with the system. One issue is that users must manually build their friends list (as opposed to having their MySpace friends imported automatically). On a positive note, however, users needn’t log into each network individually-logging into MySpace IM accomplishes the same thing as logging into the actual MySpace website, and users can do such things as check their inbox from the IM service.
But the bigger issue is the risk involved in launching yet another instant messaging network, and one that is incompatible with all other existing services. This puts MySpace into the position of having to compete with big-name programs like AIM, Windows Live Messenger, and Google Talk.
It remains to be seen how many of MySpace’s users are willing to sign up for yet another instant messaging network, or how many individuals are prepared to join MySpace in order to be eligible to use MySpace IM.