Justin Timberlake wants to inject some life into ailing social network MySpace, but as anyone following the rise and fall of the former juggernaut knows, there are years of failures to address before MySpace can reclaim its glory. Heck, even News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch knows his company didn’t do the best job of handling the social network after it purchased MySpace in 2005, and he recently said as much — in surprisingly blunt terms — on Twitter.
“Many questions and jokes about MySpace,” he tweeted. “Simple answer – we screwed up in every way possible, learned lots of valuable expensive lessons.”
Murdoch’s News Corp. acquired MySpace just over six years ago, paying $580 million dollar for the popular social network. Years of subsequent mismanagement and failure to compete with the meteoric rise of Facebook took their toll on the social network, and Murdoch eventually sold off MySpace to advertising company Specific Media and pop star Justin Timberlake last year for $35 million — a small fraction of its original purchase price.
While Murdoch’s company still holds a small stake in MySpace, the network has seen its membership drop from 73.6 million users at its peak (October 2008) to less than 30 million current users.