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New MySpace Co-Presidents Outline Makeover

MySpace used to be the 800-pound Gorilla of the social networking scene, but the more-recent ascendance of Facebook has put serious pressures on the company, which has seen its’ monthly visitors dropping—and the pressure has led to executive shakeups, with former CEO Owen Van Natta abruptly departing after just ten months at the helm. But new co-Presidents of MySpace—co-Presidents, former COO Mike Jones and Chief Product Officer Jason Hirschhorn—are now outlining a plan to revamp MySpace by focusing it more clearly on games, entertainment, movies, and—close to MySpace’s heart—music and independent musicians.

Outlining their plans to re-invigorate MySpace, Jones and Hirschhorn have outlined a new “Today on MySpace” feature that will replace the formerly-ubiquitous “first friend” Tom Anderson. Today On MySpace—TOM, get it?—will highlight new content (like songs and celebrity info) to help new users dive into MySpace content and community. Other makeovers will focus not so much on a feature-by-feature effort to compete with other social networking services, but an aim to make MySpace an entertainment hub, especially for younger Internet users in the 13–34 age group that make up the vast majority of the sites’ users. New features will include a “Super Post” that pushes posts to Twitter and Facebook along with MySpace, and improved feeds that include videos. MySpace also plans to reward users to evangelize MySpace content, will be adding fan pages for movies, and plans to open its platform to broader social gaming.

Will the changes be enough to pull MySpace out of a dive? There’s no way to know yet, but time isn’t exactly on MySpace’s side. According to comScore, Facebook and Twitter have all seen massive increases in their monthly visitor counts—up 100 percent and 1,100 percent, respectively—where MySpace has seen a net decline of 7 percent. And how many visitors does MySpace still have? About 120 million worldwide—that’s still bigger than Twitter’s 75-or-so- million, but far behind the 470 million at Facebook.

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