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The MySpace Mirage

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With 50 million registered users, MySpace should be one of the most powerful online communities on the Internet; but many of those users register and depart, to never be seen again.

No one goes there any more. It's too crowded.
-- the Taoist wisdom of Yankee great Yogi Berra

Jupiter Research called MySpace’s lofty membership figures a “mirage.” Despite News Corp heavily promoting the site’s desirability to advertisers, there may not be as much “there” there as people may think:

“They’re promoting the number that is most advantageous for them to promote, but the simple fact is that only a fraction of the registered users ever go back,” said (Nate Elliot, an analyst for Jupiter Research). “And only a fraction of them use the site on any kind of regular basis, and then another fraction of them are responsible for the traffic.”


Those returning visitors could number less than one in five, a figure that would put MySpace in the 8-10 million range for visitors who stop by at least once a week. An even grimmer truth could emerge for MySpace, even as Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp tries to capitalize on the site’s popularity and profit from it.

The article noted Elliot’s further assessment of a possible future for MySpace: abandonment. He recounted how the Friendster site was really popular for a time. Then it became too well-known by the general public, and the young hip users who made it popular departed.

MySpace has been mentioned as far up the media pyramid as the Wall Street Journal, not to mention the numerous other websites and blogs discussing it. And some think MySpace could become an even more powerful destination than all the collected blogs online combined.

What do you think? Visit our new SyndicationPro forum and let people know if the power of MySpace will endure, or simply burn out and fade away.

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David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.

The MySpace Mirage
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