MySpace cleaves workforce nearly in half with 500 layoffs; UPDATE: Sale or spinoff looks imminent

MySpace Logo (Nov 2010)Yesterday we reported that MySpace China underwent some severe cuts, including its Chinese CEO and most of its staff. Today, the social media company confirmed it’s slashing about 500 employees – nearly half of its personnel – in an effort to overhaul the suffering website.

In a statement today, MySpace CEO Mike Jones said “These changes were purely driven by issues related to our legacy business, and in no way reflect the performance of the new product.” He also remarked that these actions are a “tough but necessary” part of putting MySpace on the path to increasing profits. Jones also claims that despite current developments, the upgraded site has been “trending positively.”

The revamp MySpace underwent earlier this year saw the site alter its focus to music and video content. While Jones seems to be defending the modifications, it’s clear the company’s struggles have continued. In an interview with Fortune prior to the relaunch, Jones admitted that MySpace had diverged from its original structure, something that contributed to its user loss.

Parent company News Corp recently warned the site it had months to turn its finances around, and talk of a MySpace sale is anything but off the table. All Things Digital reports that a sale is imminent, and that it is being shopped around to “private equity buyers.” The site also claims it’s possible Yahoo could scoop up MySpace.

This isn’t the first round of serious cuts MySpace has been subject to. June 2009 saw the company purge itself of nearly 1,000 jobs in two different rounds of elimination.


One day after cutting nearly half its staff, MySpace admits it’s up for grabs. “News Corp is assessing a number of possibilities including a sale, a merger and a spinout. The process has just started.” MySpace spokeswoman Rosabel Tao told Bloomberg today.

A MySpace sale is old news, but up until this point neither News Corp nor the struggling social site have confirmed this move. Yesterday, in the midst of its job slashings, CEO Mike Jones claimed MySpace was trying to get on the track to profitability. From the sounds of it, that may no longer be necessary.

Two anonymous sources told Bloomberg that in a private preliminary meeting, Jones admitted the possibilities of MySpace’s fate. According to the insiders, he said that were News Corp to decide on a spinoff, current employees would receive shares in the acquiring company and News Corp would help fund it.

And it sounds like there are interested parties. So far, we’ve Google, Zynga, and Yahoo mentioned as potential suitors.

Social Media

Instagram ditches plans for stand-alone Direct messaging app

Instagram is shuttering it's stand-alone messaging app, Direct, after testing it since 2017. While the messaging features remain intact inside Instagram, the separate app will be discontinued in the next few weeks.
Social Media

6 easy ways to archive all of your favorite Instagram videos

Saving Instagram videos should be just as easy as taking a screenshot. So, we've put together a list of the best apps and tools that save your favorite Instagram videos onto your phone or computer.
Social Media

Instagram’s new Explore grid tempts you to open your wallet

Instagram has made some changes to its Explore tab that might tempt you into the occasional shopping spree. It's also planning to add Stories to the grid, mixing them up with the existing photos and videos.
Social Media

Be the master of your own Insta-verse with multiple Instagram accounts

Whether you own a small business or have separate Instagram accounts for your five cats, we'll walk you through the process of switching between your multiple accounts on your Apple or Android devices.
Social Media

A fond farewell to Grumpy Cat, the internet’s most famous feline

We say farewell and fondly remember Grumpy Cat, the internet's famous frowning feline and a genuine sweetheart, who died at the age of seven. Even tempered and tolerant, Grumpy Cat was in real life the opposite of her online persona.

Treat your selfie with one of these 13 apps made to beautify your pics

Selfies might be a phenomenon second only to karaoke, but they're not the easiest thing in the world to create. Thankfully, these awesome selfie apps for Android and iOS will make beautifying your self-portraits easier than capturing them.

Creators of WhatsApp attack software face lawsuit from Amnesty International

This week a spyware attack was launched on WhatsApp. Now the Israeli firm linked to that attack is facing a lawsuit from human rights NGO Amnesty International, alleging their software has been used to surveil human rights defenders.

New York could dish out fines for texting while crossing the street

Do you text on your phone while crossing the street? The dangers of stepping out in front of a car or bus are obvious, but in New York, offenders could soon face a fine of as much as $250, too.
Social Media

Help wanted: British royal family seeks social media wiz to run its accounts

The British royal family is looking for a social media expert to help it communicate its role and activities to the masses. So if you like the idea of having the Queen as your boss, why not throw your hat in the ring?
Social Media

Millions of Instagram influencers reportedly had private data exposed online

As many as 49 million Instagram influencers have reportedly had their private data exposed in an online database that had no password protection. The database was apparently created by a marketing firm and has been taken offline.
Social Media

Twitter co-founder Ev Williams still wants to save the world

Social media is evil, leading to a mental health crisis in Gen Z and a rise in hate speech. But there’s light at the end of the tunnel, says Ev Williams, the co-founder of Twitter. But weaning ourselves off today's social media won't be…
Social Media

Facebook gets a bad rap, former exec says, but we should break it up anyway

The rise of hate speech, the trolling, the comment on Facebook? Not Facebook's fault, says Alex Stamos, the social network's former chief security officer. But the site should still be broken up, he says.

What is Reddit? A beginner’s guide to the front page of the internet

If you spend much time online, you've probably heard of Reddit. Here, we break down the terminology, perks, and inner workings of everyone's favorite social platform. Understanding the "front page of the internet" has never been so easy.

Looking for love or just some fun? Cozy up with the best dating apps of 2019

Everyone knows online dating can be stressful, time-consuming, and downright awful. Check out our top picks for the best dating apps, so you can streamline the process and find the right date, whatever you're looking for.