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Thursday, January 4, 2007

Myspace sees rise in Competition

Forbes in their in a recent report on "social networking sites"says that MySpace's share of traffic among the top 20 social-networking sites shrank 1 percent from October to November, according to online monitoring service Hitwise — and while it still owns more than 81% of that category — its users are going exploring.Like thrill-seeking teens driving up and down a main drag, kids on the Web have cruised endlessly over sites like MySpace, and they want more. More action, that is.
"I still go on MySpace and Facebook," says 21-year-old San Francisco resident Matthew Gorman. "But it's like a revolving door. You check your messages and you leave. There's just nothing to do."
But Gorman found a new site — Xuqa.com — that entertains him enough to keep him coming back for 40 hours a week. Xuqa relaunched in August as a social-networking-site-cum-contest, where users compete for popularity points by accumulating virtual kisses and hugs, winning poker games, spending "peanuts," and even filling out surveys and looking at ads, all to attain status levels.
Only a few enterprising kids have "won" Xuqa by reaching the highest popularity level — 10 — and claiming a $1,000 prize. One or two Xuqa members have won rock band and modeling contests and the chance to be considered for agency representation. The site has more than 1 million members, who spend an average of 20 minutes on the site each time they visit, and the company is profitable, according to its 24-year-old co-founder, Ali Moiz. The site's ad-viewing incentives drive the average revenue per user up higher than typical social networks, he says.
"There's always stuff going on," says Gorman. "Once more [MySpace users] find out about this game, they'll realize what they've been missing."
Xuqa makes the transition easy — MySpace members can cut and paste their profiles into Xuqa — but like Gorman, most won't delete their profiles on the big networks. Moiz thinks social networking users have the attention span for more than one community.
Overall, the number of social networks evolving into games is on the rise. "In November, Yahoo! bought Bix.com, a social networking site designed to host performance-related contests of all kinds, for an undisclosed amount. Users watch videos, listen to karaoke and look at photos, then vote for "winners" based on their opinions of the submissions. Winners receive prizes awarded by the contest sponsor. But a social site doesn't need prizes and winners to feel like play.
Just ask Brant Walker, a Web design student at San Diego's Platt College, who founded "Fake Your Space" in late November. In just two weeks, his startup found more than 300 customers willing to pay for fake friends for their MySpace profiles. But these aren't just any friends — they're male and female models who leave racy comments and photographs in their digital wake.
The primary reason why Myspace holds on to its market share is because of its coolness factor .Any social network in order to maintain its position needs to tap to the lucrative teenage demographics and adddress this coolness.. Myspace may seem to be cluttered and messy but most teens have their entire social networks in myspace.com and they may move about different social networks but eventually settle at myspace and at this moment almost all of them with exceptions of a few are clone of myspace .. Stickam with its new web broadcasting feauture might be the new kid on the block.. but it remains how it handles the controversy regarding the use of webcams in this area..

1 Comment:

Jessica said...

great post !!! Although myspace is on a very strong wicket , I am not sure if it can manitain its position effectively if it continues to delete accounts in an arbitrary fashion . Myspace should learn from friendsters debacle and allow all kinds of profile to stay there . After all its the sheer diversity that makes a social networking site differentiate from the clutter
Friendship Wishes