— blending the mix

AOL launches myspace competitor

Steve Rubel reports that [tag]AOL[/tag] has just launched its own myspace entrant, [tag]Trading Spaces[/tag] and I’m not sure if it worth their while.

I feel that there are at least 3 major factors why there will be many challengers but mainly losers to the myspace crown:

1) Users of [tag]myspace[/tag] feel a sense of ownership of the network. It has expanded from the bottom – up. Users created the content which grew myspace organically as their internal friend networks expanded. Myspace is THEIR space, trading spaces is AOL’s space reserved for THEM.

2) Have you seen some of the profiles on myspace?! Truly awesome levels of creativity and design which will have taken days if not weeks to complete. Have you moved house recently? Fun isn’t it…NOT!

3) The momentum which has helped grow myspace is unlikely to be replicated unless there are significant changes/improvements from a new entrant. Even then, unless there is a MASS migration to any one new entrant, the existing mysapce networks just aren’t going to broken up.

4) (told you there were at least 3 reasons!) Given the press furore and word of mouth surrounding myspace, surely anyone who is interested in this type of network has already set up home and is perfectly happy?

I just cannot see how someone has taken the time to embed themselves in a network like myspace will want to move networks UNLESS a new entrant provides some significant freebies or additional features.

  1. Ann Handley says: May 11, 200611:35 am

    You might be right, Paul. But there’s another factor here: kids grow up. Sure, the teens/young adults on MySpace feel tremendous ownership — and that probably won’t change. But their little sisters and brothers may go looking for other options. At the very least, they won’t feel such an intense ownership.

    In my view AOL’s whole deal is introducing the masses to technology “innovations” that have actually been around for a while, and that have already built a passionate but nonetheless select following. It’s what they are doing now in blogging, and I guess what they are doing with taking on MySpace, too.

  2. paul.fabretti says: May 11, 200611:54 am

    I couldn’t agree more Ann. AOL for me has always been the Nintendo of the ISP’s (excuse the analogy!)

    Whilst Sega and Playstation were busy making games where people pulled each others’ throats out (!) Nintendo concentrated on making games which were equally addictive and vusually stunning but ultimately friendly and largely non-comabtive. They were the “friendly” gaming company.

    AOL meets that same sort of family-based market and with that comes a responsibility to translate the current “fads” into usable technology to enhance the lives of their subscribers.

    Someone pointed out on http://www.gapingvoid.com the very same thing with regards to the BBC.

    Whiulst the BBC is a publicly-funded service, it has a very serious responsibility to bring the latest technology to the people in a way in which it will enhance (and keep up to date!) the lives of the British public.

    Podcasts, blogs, CGC are all now topics of conversation that are littered throughout the BBC website as they attempt to educate the public.

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