Published on April 6th, 2011 | by charliesaidthat1
The Facebook Lifecycle (Part II – Social Media Life Cycle) – Myspace vs Facebook
In Part I of The Social Media Platform Lifecycle we looked at what makes up the social media lifecycle and why it’s important for digital marketers.
We all know that Myspace was big in 2007 and that Facebook dominates the internet in 2011. But should we believe that Facebook will last forever? or even the next 5 years? And what about Twitter? Will it be a “Facebook-Killer”? or is it just a fad?
The Social Media Lifecycle of Myspace
Being the most recent to have gone full circle, Myspace is probably the clearest example of a social media lifecycle.
Myspace started out focussed on the music niche, naturally gaining a high level of buzz and hype causing the user base to grow. With this level of growth comes a widening appeal, more people are naturally interested in a wider array of things, not just the original focus.
Myspace tried to accommodate these growing interests by adding new offerings, such as classifieds, forums and new entertainment products. It was around this period of growth that saw News Corp buy it in 2005.
Facebook vs. Myspace
This level of growth (and commercialisation) also attracted spammers who ended up rendering Myspace useless as a communication tool, unless you wanted to wade through their pages of “listen to me, I shout longest, hardest and fastest”.
The mass migration of users from Myspace can largely be attributed by the company reacting far too slowly to address the prevalent spam issues and, that users were presented with another social networking option at the right time, Facebook.
The speed of Facebook’s take up can partly be attributed to users having actively sought out the platform and required minimal learning to be able to use it.
Can Music and SEO save Myspace?
The main reason, why Myspace is still alive, albeit far smaller, but still not dead is the inherent SEO value of giving users access to listen to free music.
The fact that Myspace is still has such powerful SEO tool means that I doubt we will be seeing it going anywhere soon. If they were to refocus back to being a valueable hub for musicians then perhaps Myspace could even rejuvanate its offering once again, although I doubt it will ever reach the heights that it once did as it is now loosing users, fast.
There is a case for monetising/commercialising social networks kills the passion within it, although its hard to see the same impact where commercialising of a social network has been more subtle such as the user experience on Twitter.
Is Facebook innovating the future of social marketing?
Facebook certainly won’t disappear any time soon, the user base is too huge to disappear overnight… However, it is a fragile ecosystem. It takes one group of friends to leave for the whole platform to be of less value to everyone else.
Therefore its imperative that Facebook continues to innovate and adapt to what users want. It’s possible that Facebook will continue buying up start ups and implementing new features, much like Google are; minimising competitive advantage and satisfying user demand. Is that enough to prevent users migrating the service?
Spread your bets
Consider this, what if a platform you use daily in campaigns for clients decides to redesign the site, loosing 26% of its audience within a month? Some of you are probably thinking… “That’s ridiculous, no social network would lose a quarter of its users in a month”…
Well, it did happen, and their main compeitor swallowed up 90% of those leaving within the month. See The Social Media Lifecycle Part III for a full round up.
Let me know what you think. Will Facebook be around in 10 years time? Will it still be dominant? Where will Twitter be? Will the Search Engines move in to get some of this traffic?