Users Spent 1740 Years At MySpace In March?
Google’s not perfect. The company had a chance to acquire MySpace months before News Corp., at half the price. Rupert Murdoch called it arrogance that they didn’t, and he was probably right. If you add the time spent on MySpace by users in March, it would equal 1740 years, according to Racepoint Group.
That’s in addition to being the social network with the most unique visitors. The nearest competitor, Facebook, logged in only 171 collective years by users. Since time spent is next great indicator of value on the Web, Google’s failure to swallow up MySpace when they had the chance is looking to become one of the biggest oopses in Internet history.
What’s Google got in terms of social networking? Orkut? Great for Brazil, India, and, well, that’s about it. Both are large countries, but users haven’t devoted the time they have other networks. Orkut users racked up just under six years worth of time in March.
(It is kind of mind-boggling to think of years within months, isn’t it?)
That puts Orkut at number 8 on the Racepoint’s "Attention Rank" list, behind some networks you know, and some you may never have heard of: Bebo, BlackPlanet, Tagged, Classmates, and Hi5.
So, perhaps we can officially say not buying MySpace was a super, super dumb move. This may be why Google has seemed a bit trigger-happy with acquisitions lately – YouTube for $1.65 billion despite copyright concerns; DoubleClick for $3.1 billion (okay, not really a Web 2.0 company, but they are a strong contextual ad company).
But of course, the most painful part of this hindsight reality is that Google had to pay almost $1 billion to serve advertisements to MySpacers, rather than paying $300 million a smidge earlier to own it out right.
We’ve also learned that YouTube and MSN, like Photobucket, owes a large portion of its success to MySpace. Not only is Photobucket the number one photo-sharing site on the Web (number one by a large distance), but its preference among MySpacers caused the site to receive 57 percent of its upstream traffic from the social network.
Hitwise’s LeeAnn Prescott weighs in again later with an update. Visits to Photobucket account for 73 percent of photo traffic leaving MySpace overall.
We may see some aggressive measures from MySpace in the photo-sharing realm then. Murdoch wasn’t thrilled at YouTube’s success on the back of his social network. That motivated Fox Interactive Media to launch their own video-sharing service.
Leveraging its own audience was another effective Murdoch decision. Now, according to Prescott, 2.22 percent of MySpacers travel downstream to MySpace Videos, compared to one percent to YouTube.
One thing’s for certain. Speculation on the potency of MySpace is moot, and Google really missed the boat.