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Myspace mashup with Facebook: A not-so-useful new feature

November 25, 2010

Myspace recently announced the launch of a feature which allows users to quickly import their likes and interests from their Facebook profile. But how useful really is it and why has Myspace seemingly joined forces with a rival?

myspace homepage screengrab

The Facebook 'mashup' button is on the Myspace homepage

The new link-up, Myspace claims, gives users “tailored recommendations of new topic pages and profiles” so they can discover and benefit from “new entertainment experiences and greater customisation”.

It promises to pull information from your Facebook profile and match it with relevant Myspace topics pages, profiles and other content on the website. The user’s Myspace stream is then automatically and instantly filled with “the entertainment content they already love”.

So, what did clicking the button—which has been prominently placed on the website’s homepage—do for my dusty Myspace profile? Aside from suggesting I should become friends with musician John Legend and mark Glee down as one of my favourite television shows, the simple answer is, not a lot.

It all sounds appealing and useful, but looking at my stream and what has been appearing on it for a few days, very little has caught my eye. Perhaps I’m missing something, but I just can’t see any relationship between what I’m seeing on the stream and anything I’ve ever done on Facebook. And it seems I’m not the only one questioning the move.

Myspace may have announced it amid much fanfare but in reality, it does not appear to do much more than what many other websites are already doing using Facebook Connect.

What is intriguing about the new feature, however, is that by introducing it—and seeking to engage with the 500m or so Facebook users—Myspace appears to have conceded that it has lost the social network battle with Facebook.

Apart from jazzing up your Myspace profile, the underlying idea of the link-up is presumably to encourage more people back to use the website following its recent significant drops in traffic by tapping into Facebook’s users. Some reports claim Myspace has lost almost 97 per cent of its pageviews over the last two years.

And Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp, the company that bought Myspace for $580m in 2005, admitted recently that it sees the website as “a problem” and that its “current losses are not acceptable or sustainable”.

Integrating Facebook then, appears to be part of an attempt to draw its lost users back. Myspace has already undergone a significant rebrand, including the introduction of its new logo, and it says it will roll out the now familiar Facebook ‘like’ button across the website soon so users can recommend Myspace content to their friends on Facebook.

But whether this strategy of linking up with a former rival turns out simply to be a last-ditch attempt from Myspace to save itself from extinction remains to be seen.

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