Wednesday, March 21, 2007

MySpace or MurdochSpace

MySpace, which is owned by the News Corporation and is the Internet’s largest social network, has been introducing limits on the software tools that its users can embed in their pages. The end game is to monopolise the commercial capitalisation of its 90 monthly visits and stop others delivering advertising or enabling transactions.
Some would argue, this then becomes MurdochSpace and is no longer MySpace.

MySpace says that it will block all third-party software — also called widgets — when they lend themselves to violations of its terms of service, like the spread of pornography or copyrighted material. But it also now objects to software that enables users to sell or advertise without authorization, or without entering into a direct partnership with M******Space.

The corporates that bought up these highly active new social space didn’t do it to spread love, peace and social understanding they did it to generate money. Google will pay MySpace at least $900 million over the next three years to serve ads to the site’s users. Others have lined up for a slice of the lucrative audience.

In the past, MySpace failed to block companies like YouTube that began successful businesses from MySpace’s pages. The question of whether YouTube would have made it without MySpace is immaterial now but as the doors close and M******Space is spawned it is clear that new social spaces will have to fight for their own space and audience.

More import is the realisation that previous attempts others have made to try to dictate people’s Internet experience has ended failing. Today the fickle are only one click away from the next destination.