After what seemed like a never-ending tailspin into obscurity, hope may burn bright once again for the beleaguered former social networking heavyweight, MySpace.
Bought up for $580 million by News Corp in 2005, the site underwent a series of catastrophic updates, pointless redesigns and calamitous refreshes, which left users jettisoning the fast-sinking ship at an extreme rate of knots.
Gone! For a bargain!
Although News Corp. was still busy spinning out optimistic yarns in February that it expected to earn $100 million from the site’s sale, it has now in fact been sold for just $35 million, to an advertising network called Specific Media.
Interestingly, the company says singer Justin Timberlake will be taking an ownership stake in MySpace and will also play a role in its future.
Here’s what Timberlake had to say about the deal:
There’s a need for a place where fans can go to interact with their favorite entertainers, listen to music, watch videos, share and discover cool stuff and just connect. MySpace has the potential to be that place.
Art is inspired by people and vice versa, so there’s a natural social component to entertainment.
Specific Media and Timberlake say they intend to focus the site back on entertainment, original shows, videos and music, which makes sense to us.
As club promoters ourselves, we’ve really missed the old MySpace, although – rather worryingly – they’ve said that they also plan on launching “socially-activated advertising campaigns,” which would let users share their favourite ads with friends. You what?
Specific Media and Timberlake also said that they would be sharing their vision for the company’s future later this summer.
Either way, it can’t possibly get worse. Can it?