The emergence of Facebook has not come without consequences. Facebook’s recent success appears to have posed a great bit of challenge to other social networking Websites which have seen their members gradually lured away. Perhaps one of the most affected social networks in terms of membership loss is MySpace. The once popular site has announced job cuts in a bid to turnaround its dwindling fortunes. Thus, the Website will be cutting 500 job positions i.e. 47% of its employees, which translates to almost half of its global workforce. The gradual shift in power to Facebook reminds me of a friend who a couple of years ago told of how he switched alliances to Facebook so that his friends could see his latest photos as most of them had migrated from Flickr.
This trend represents a shift which has seen MySpace attempt to reinvent itself as an entertainment Website, as it finds itself in the shadows of Facebook. Staff members were notified of their job losses, weeks after the parent company, Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation (which bought MySpace in a deal that cost $580m (£372m) in 2005), put the social networking site on notice to ‘shape up or potentially face auction. However, according to MySpace’s chief executive, Mark Jones, the job cuts were ‘tough but necessary’ in what is generally seen as an effort to put the Website back on the path towards growth and profitability.
Why is Facebook so popular?